Wihdat beat Jazira 2-0 late Tuesday evening to win the Jordan Football Association (JFA) Shield.
Both teams were eager for a title. Last season, Wihdat failed to win a single title while Jazira let the Jordan Professional Football League title slip in the final week. Faisali combined the league and Jordan Cup titles, while Ahli beat Wihdat to win the Super Cup and Shabab Urdun bagged the Jordan Football Association Shield.
Wihdat reached the Shield final after edging Ramtha 2-0- in the knockout semis. They had earlier eliminated That Ras 3-0, Ahli 2-1 and Ramtha 3-0 in the preliminary round of the second football competition of the season.
Two-time winner Jazira reached the final after beating Faisali 3-1 on penalties after a goalless draw in original time. They beat Manshieh 4-0, Shabab Urdun 3-1, and drew Aqaba 1-1 in the preliminary round.
Jazira have not won a title in a while and they were playing their second final this season. Earlier this month, they lost 2-1 to reigning Faisali in the 35th Jordan Super Cup — the first major competition on the 2017/18 football calendar.
The preliminary round of the JFA Shield, back on the calendar last year following an absence of four seasons, saw league teams playing in three groups with the top team from each group as well as the best second-placed team moving to the knock-out semifinal round.
Jazira advanced from Group A edging newcomers Aqaba, Manshieh and holders Shabab Urdun while Faisali topped Group B which included Baqa’a, Yarmouk, Hussein and Wihdat led Group C which included Ahli, That Ras, and Ramtha, who moved on as the best second-placed team.
So far this year, Faisali, twice winner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, won the Super Cup and finished runner-up to Tunisia’s Tarajji at the Arab Championship after an impressive performance which included two wins over Egyptian veterans Ahli.
Looking back at the history of the Shield tournament, Wihdat are a record nine time winners, Faisali seven, Ramtha five, Hussein three, Jazira and Amman and Shabab Urdun twice each, Kufrsoum and Yarmouk once each. Hussein were finalists seven times. Amman, have since scrapped football while Qadissieh were relegated and have since merged with Shabab Urdun
The winner received JD15,000 in prize money. The Jordan Cup is set to start September 25.
By Aline Bannayan
© Copyright The Jordan Times. All rights reserved.