Amman: Al Jazeera coach Chiheb Ellili credited his players for the historic comeback as they turned a 3-0 first-leg loss against Syria’s Al Jaish into a 4-3 aggregate win to reach the 2019 AFC Cup West Zonal Final.
Abdullah Al Attar scored inside the first five minutes before Feras Shelbaieh, Ahmad Al Essawi and Zaid Jaber netted in the second half to complete a 4-0 rout at Amman International Stadium on Tuesday.
“I would like to thank the players,” said the Tunisian coach. “They repaid my faith in them, were tactically disciplined and gave their all to make this ‘remontada’ happen. It was a perfect performance.”
Suffering an injury crisis and struggling financially, Al Jazeera narrowly missed on the Jordanian League title in May, finishing one point behind champions Al Faisaly.
They then went on to reach the AFC Cup West Zonal Final for the second year in a row.
AL JAZEERA (JOR) vs AL JAISH (SYR)_FTHL.mp4 (2019-06-25 18:59:44Z)
“Everyone knows the club is not in a great position at the moment, but the players put on a fight for the team and for the whole of Jordan to show that Jordanian football can compete in the AFC Cup."
Facing a nearly impossible task ahead of the second leg, Ellili and the club board resorted to various ways to motivate the players, and the 55-year-old insists it was ultimately pride that propelled them to success.
“Before the final training session, I asked for the Jordanian national anthem to be played so the players realise they are on a mission for the whole nation.
"The board offered financial incentives, but the players fought for their history and for the country, not for the money.”