Gikiewicz vs Al-Taamari – He Who Dares Wins

There really is no rest for the wicked. Friday saw the culmination of the domestic season in Jordan and it’s safe to say it didn’t disappoint. Now, only three days later, Al-Faisaly & Al-Jazeera are back in action again as they face one another in the second-leg of the AFC Cup zonal semi-final. Lukasz Gikiewicz and Musa Al-Taamari perhaps hold the keys to both sides happiness as they’re Al-Faisaly’s & Al-Jazeera’s respective top scorers.

Al-Jazeera’s Prep Did Not Go Well

After Al-Jazeera’s catastrophic Friday which saw them self-implode and lose 4-0 at home, they’ve got some work to do. Their loss coupled with Al-Faisaly only conceding once meant that Al-Faisaly leapfrogged them to finish second behind the magnificent Al-Wehdat.

I’ve got a confession to make. I still have no idea who plays where in terms of home stadia as my initial thought was they both shared the Amman International Stadium, but both sides were home on Friday which makes that impossible.

Alternatively, maybe Al-Jazeera just use it for continental fixtures which I guess would make sense? Yeah, we’ll go with that. So, the two teams couldn’t be separated in the first-leg despite Al-Jazeera playing more than half the game with ten men after Mardik Mardikian’s crude elbow. One goal split the teams after a league campaign. One goal. There’s not a lot between them at all.

Gikiewicz Got Al-Faisaly Back Into The Game

As mentioned earlier, Lukasz Gikiewicz of Al-Faisaly got them back into the game last time out when he evaded his marker to head home. On the contrary, Musa Al-Taamari scored a goal which oozed quality. He bamboozled several defenders before slotting home. Two goals at opposite ends of the spectrum, both just as crucial.

One would make the educated prediction that whichever one of those performs at a higher level, later on, will be on the winning side. Gikiewicz vs Al-Taamari, Al-Faisaly vs Al-Jazeera, Jordan vs Jordan! It will undoubtedly prove to be another fascinating encounter and it would not surprise me in the slightest if we were to see penalties after another 1-1 draw.  

From the off, the onus is on the away side due to the fact that if it finishes 0-0, Al-Faisaly will progress on away goals. Saying that, if Al-Faisaly do open the scoring, Al-Jazeera’s job doesn’t really change as they will just have to score. Hmm. What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that I haven’t got the foggiest. Nothing new there then.

If Al-Taamari Is The Danger, Man-Mark Him!

While I’m here, something that has got me thinking. Now, we all know that Gikiewicz and Al-Taamari are the dangermen on either side, yes? Why wouldn’t you just get someone to man-mark them? In fact, what has happened to the whole art of man marking? Get someone to follow them everywhere. Yes, you’d make the game ten versus ten, but if you cut off the main threat, you’ve got half a chance?

It begs the question why didn’t Ceres & Yangon do that as well as there were two standout players on either side in that instance as well. They both ended up scoring a brace. All this tells me is that I’m wasted doing this writing lark, I should be on the coaching bench somewhere. Maybe with Long An! All in good time. All in good time.

Prediction wise for this, I’m going with my gut and saying 1-1 after extra-time. Not a clue who will win on penalties. That is all. There won’t be a match report for this tomorrow as there are a ridiculous amount of games in the AFC Cup this week.

Games Galore This Week!

With the group stages coming to an end, the number of games is well into the double figures (I think). Individual match previews on the knockout games will be done alongside one master preview for the final group stage fixtures. Then, on Thursday, they’ll be a round-up of both. Sounds like a bit of alright, doesn’t it?

Until the next time.