As part of the ongoing preparations for hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and Women’s World Cup qualifiers in April next year, Jordan was edged out 2-0 by Asian Champions and World Cup runner-ups Japan, in a friendly match that was held in Amman on Friday, November 24.

The match saw the Jordanians put up a brave display against the Japanese, closing down spaces and creating real chances to score.

The first 25 minutes of the game witnessed a balanced performance from both sides, with the Jordanian ladies successfully holding the Japanese team, minimizing their threat with well-positioned moves and group effort, while going forward to create chances as well.

However, a run from the Japanese attack in the 28th minute, saw them score the first goal from inside the penalty box. And despite the assistant referee’s flag going up pointing to an offside, the referee’s call was to allow the goal to stay.

The Nadeshiko took advantage of the WNT lack of concentration following the controversial goal, and managed to double the lead only 3 minutes later.

The Jordanians regrouped again, and got close to pulling one goal back before halftime, when Shahnaz Jibreen took advantage of a deflection following a defensive error between the Japanese defender and goalie, but her effort hit the outside of the net.

In the second half, the team showed progress with more chances rising up in the horizon, despite Japan’s domination of possession.

Jibreen came close to score for the Nashmiyat again going one-on-one with the keeper, after receiving a lovely through ball from Maysa Jbarah that broke the Japanese backline, but the Japanese goalkeeper made a great save clearing her shot out of bounds.

A number of other chances were created, specially from corner kicks, and Jbarah was denied by the bar only minutes before the end of the game.

Goalkeeper Salma Ghazal stood firm in front of the goal, making outstanding saves that denied Japan from scoring more goals throughout the encounter. Final score: Jordan 0, Japan 2.

The Jordanian Team heads to Turkey on Saturday, November 25, as they prepare to take on Turkey’s WNT in a friendly on Monday, November 27, before returning back home ahead of the Thailand training camp, which wraps up the preparation for the year 2017.

Jordan’s lineup vs Japan:

Salma Ghazal – Rand Abu Hussein, Ayah Al Majali, Lana Feras, Razan Al Zagha (Rouzbahan Fraij), Yasmeen Khair (Tasneem Abu Rob), Stephanie Al Naber (Haya Khalil), Luna Al Masri (Mai Sweilem), Shahnaz Jibreen, Maysa Jbarah, Sarah Abu Sabbah (Hannah Kousheh)