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Beaten Saudi Arabia sent crashing from Asian Cup

Baha Abdelrahman celebrates scoring the only goal that gave Jordan victory over Saudi Arabia.
Baha Abdelrahman celebrates scoring the only goal that gave Jordan victory over Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabia crash out of the Asian Cup after a 1-0 defeat by Jordan on Thursday
  • A mistake from goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah sealed Saudi Arabia's fate
  • The defeat means they crash out of the tournament after an earlier loss to Syria
  • Japan lead the group, level on points with Jordan, after a tense 2-1 win over Syria

(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia's quest for a fourth Asian Cup title, and first since 1996, is over after they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Jordan in Doha on Thursday.

A mistake from goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah sealed Saudi Arabia's fate, as the kingdom slumped to their second successive defeat following their surprise 2-1 loss to Syria on Sunday.

Last weekend's defeat saw the instant dismissal of Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, but his replacement Nasser Al Johar failed to get the victory the Saudi's needed to keep their tournament alive, despite making four changes to his side.

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The only goal of the game came three minutes before half-time against the run of play.

There looked no danger when Baha Abdelrahman floated in a cross from the right hand side, but Abdullah completely misjudged the flight of the ball and could only watch on in horror as it looped into the net.

Despite the shock nature of their exit, Al Johar was philosophical about the defeat. "We played very well and we created opportunities to score, especially in the second half," he told reporters.

"But we were not lucky and this is football. Maybe we'll do better in the future," he added.

We were not lucky and this is football. Maybe we'll do better in the future
--Saudi Arabia coach Nasser Al Johar
  • Football
  • FIFA
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Doha

The result means Saudi Arabia become the first team to bow out of the competition and puts Jordan level on points with Japan at the top of the group.

Meanwhile, Group B favorites Japan claimed a hard fought 2-1 win over Syria in the day's other match to move onto four points after their two matches.

Japan were never at their best against committed opponents, who would have qualified for the knockout stages with another victory, and a tense encounter saw both teams finish with 10 men.

Captain Makoto Hasebe opened the scoring for the three-time champions in the 35th minute, finding the corner of the net with a well-placed strike after some superb individual play from Keisuke Honda.

However, Syria levelled in controversial fashion with 14 minutes remaining, when Firas Al Khatib netted from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima had fouled Sanharib Malki -- despite the player being flagged offside.

Japan's players protested vehemently but the Iranian referee stuck by his decision, sending off Kawashima in the process.

Despite being a man down, Japan rallied and won the match in the 80th minute when Honda coverted another penalty, given after Ali Dyab had brought down substitute striker Shinji Okazaki.

Syria were also to finish with 10 men after Nadim Sabagh was sent off in injury time for two quick yellow cards.

Japan only need to draw with Saudi Arabia in their final match to qualify for the next stage, while whoever wins the match between Jordan and Syria will join them, although Jordan also just need a point from that fixture.

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