Published January 13, 2011
DOHA, Qatar – Three-time champion Saudi Arabia was eliminated from the Asian Cup in the first round with a 1-0 loss to Jordan on Thursday.
The Saudis fired coach Jose Peseiro following an opening 2-1 loss to Syria last weekend, bringing in Nasser al-Johar for his fifth stint in charge.
Despite dominant first half, Saudi Arabia fell behind in the 42nd minute when goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah allowed Baha' Abdelrahman's cross to float over his head and into the corner of the net.
In the other Group B game Thursday, Japan beat Syria 2-1. Makoto Hasebi scored off a pass from Daisuke Matsui in the 35th minute, and Keisuke Honda converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute after a foul on Shinji Okazaki.
Firas al-Khatib had tied the score with a penalty kick in the 76th, six minutes after Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was ejected for a foul on Sanharib Malki.
Japan (1-0-1) and Jordan (1-0-1) both have four points and plus-1 goal differences, and Japan leads based on more goals scored. Syria (1-1) has three points, and Saudi Arabia (0-2) is last.