Jordan power past Bangladesh in opener

Jordan’s bid to reach a third successive AFC Women’s Asian Cup got off to a dream start when they inflicted a 5-0 defeat on Bangladesh at Bunyodkor Stadium on Sunday.

Captain Maysa Jbarah scored three goals in 15 second-half minutes for David Nascimento’s side, building a 2-0 half-time lead which had been built by goals from Shanaz Jebreen and Bana Al Bitar.

The win puts Al Nashmiyat on top of the three-team Group G, with Islamic Republic of Iran to meet both Bangladesh and Jordan over the next six days to determine who will advance to next year’s continental Finals in India.

Bangladesh arrived with a cohort of players who had qualified and performed well in major Asian youth tournaments, but they found the going difficult against an experienced Jordan outfit who arrived in Tashkent fresh from winning the 2021 Arab Cup.

A goal scorer in the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup Finals, winger Jebreen broke the deadlock with a 35th-minute effort, before Al Bitar turned Bangladesh’s deficit into something resembling a mountain when she beat goalkeeper Rupna Chakma to add a second in the final minute of the first half.

From there it was the Jbarah show, with Jordan’s star striker showing she remains a lethal threat on the international stage.

She opened her account in the 62nd minute before adding a second five minutes later, with her 77th minute strike completing a blistering hat-trick and rounding out the scoring at 5-0.

The result is a major blow to Bangladesh’s hopes of a first ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup appearance.

Golam Robbani Choton’s side will round out their Group G campaign against Islamic Republic of Iran on Wednesday, while Jordan will look to stamp their ticket to India when they face Team Melli Baanovaan next Saturday.

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