Cyprus fall hard in Amman to Jordan

Cyprus fall hard in Amman to Jordan


Jordan 3 - 0 Cyprus
Yaseen 18'
Siaj 37'
Al-Rawashdeh 86'

It was perhaps the lowest point of the Cypriot national team under Ran Ben Shimon, as Cyprus went down hard in Sunday’s international friendly 3:0 to Jordan in Amman. 

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The manager from Israel went with a similar lineup to the one that played in the scoreless friendly draw at home to Montenegro back in March, but missing some regulars - most notably Pieros Sotiriou. Urko Pardo surprisingly started in goal over the veteran Antonis Giorgallidis, and the young, promising Andreas Christodoulou. The full starting lineup for Cyprus was: Pardo, Jason Demetriou, Giorgos Merkis, Fanos Katelaris, Renato Margaca, Vincent Laban, Ioannis Kousoulos, Dimitris Froxylias, Anthony Georgiou and Dimitris Christofi, who served as the Captain. 

The gameplay was mostly even throughout the first half. A long free kick from Margaca surprised the Jordanian defense, but nobody could get a touch on it, and the ball went wide. In the 18th minute, the Jordanians earned a free kick from a bad angle, which came screaming off the post. Pardo committed to the original trajectory of the shot, which left him out of position when the ball came right to Anas Bani Yaseen, who scored easily and gave Jordan the opening goal. 

Laban tried to answer, but his attempt was saved by the Jordanian keeper and Captain, Ahmed Abdel-Sattar. Hamza Al-Dardour found himself in a good position to score, but Pardo made the save, and the rebound was headed over the net by Jaime Siaj as the score remained 1:0. On the next rush, Al-Dardour dribbled to the Cypriot goal line, attracting the Cypriot defense, and then crossed in for Siaj, who was left unmarked coming through the box, and he fired past Pardo for Jordan’s 2:0 advantage in the 37th minute, which was the halftime score.

The second half was also evenly played, but once again, Cyprus could not generate chances when they had the ball. With their 2 goal cushion, the Jordanians played conservatively and did not leave much room for creativity. With Cyprus pressing to get back into the game, they were dealt the final blow. Two Jordanians had the ball with only Pardo to beat, and Yousef Al-Rawashdeh cashed in to give Jordan the big, 3:0 over Cyprus.

Cyprus have yet to win a match since Ben Shimon’s winning debut back in August at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are winless in the 8 matches since, 7 of which were losses. This was their first ever loss to Jordan in 4 matches. Cyprus have only beaten Jordan once, and the other two fixtures ended in draws. Unless any further friendlies are scheduled, Cyprus are due to next play in the all-new UEFA Nations League, where they will begin on September 6th away to Norway.


by Andreas Mantzas
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