South Korea Benefits from Late Own-Goal to Salvage 2-2 Draw with Jordan in Asian Cup

AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
South Korea’s Son Heung-min scores a penalty, the opening goal of his team, during the Asian Cup Group E soccer match between Jordan and South Korea at Al Thumama in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Despite going ahead on an early strike by Son Heung-min, South Korea needed a last-minute own-goal to secure a 2-2 draw with Jordan at the Asian Cup on Saturday.

Yazan Al-Arab’s late intervention at the Al Thumama Stadium prevented a second surprise result in the space of 24 hours after Iraq defeated Japan 2-1.

The draw leaves both South Korea, led by former United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, and Jordan with four points from the first two games in Group E.

“It was a very, very intense game, which we expected,” Klinsmann said. “After we got the lead, we were too slow. We were not physical enough. We lost one-on-one battles on the field, and that gave them a lot of energy.”

Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup with West Germany, was more satisfied with the second-half fightback.

“We were in control. We created enough chances to win this game,” he said. “Still, a tie is fine at the end of the day.”

South Korea, a two-time champion but searching for a first title since 1960, started well. After just five minutes, Son was fouled in the area by Ehsan Haddad. After a four-minute long VAR check, the Tottenham captain scored from the spot.

Jordan leveled after 37 minutes as Park Yong-woo headed a corner into his own net. Six minutes into first-half stoppage time, Jordan took the lead on Yazan Al-Naimat’s goal.

South Korea’s pressure paid off in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. Son pulled the ball back in the area for Hwang In-beom and the low shot from the Red Star Belgrade midfielder was turned into his own goal by Al Arab.

Also in Group E on Saturday, Bahrain beat Malaysia 1-0 to go third with three points. Ali Madan scored the only goal of the game in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to leave Malaysia pointless.

The top two from each of the six groups advance to the round of 16, where they are joined by the four best-performing third-place teams.