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Faisali win record 33rd league title with style

Sarih and Sahab relegated to the 1st League

By Aline Bannayan - May 07,2017 - Last updated at May 07,2017

AMMAN  — Without having to resort to a title deciding match, Faisali sealed the Jordan Professional Football League and took home their 33rd league title after a four year hiatus.

The last matches of the 2016-17 league switched final standings and caused major changes especially in the bottom half of the standings.

As Jazira and Wihdat alternated the lead, while Faisali looked like the most unlikely champs earlier in the season. The team has won the league title a record 32 times, but had lost their aptitude in the past four years when Wihdat dominated.

Ahli won the first major competition on the 2016/17 football calendar, when they beat reigning league champs Wihdat 2-1 to win the 34th Super Cup. In the Jordan Football Association Shield, Shabab Urdun scored a major 5-1 win over Faisali to win their second Shield title after they first won in 2007. 

However, Faisali’s 4-0 win over Sahab took them atop the standings on the final day of the league, as three-time champs Jazira, who were last league champs in 1956 needed a win to take them up the podium. However, Jazira were held 0-0 by Ahli and settled for second.

Titleholders Wihdat settled for third after a 2-1 win over Hussein ,while newcomers Manshieh finished fourth after a 2-1 win over Ramtha.

Both Baqa’a and That Ras held on to their spots in the league after Baqa’a scored a 3-1 win over Shabab Urdun while That Ras ousted Sarih 2-0 as the latter was relegated with Sahab to the 1st League.

Faisali took home JD120,000, Jazira JD80,000, Wihdat JD35,000, Manshieh JD15,000. 

Jazira’s Syrian pro Mardig Mardigian won the top scorer award with 14 goals and took home JD5,000 in prize money.

Regionally, Wihdat have made it to the Round of 16 in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup after exiting the Asian Champions League earlier in the season. After losing the chance to win their fourth consecutive and 16th overall league title, now they still have the Jordan Cup semis ahead. Ahli, playing in the AFC Cup for the first time, finished third in AFC Cup Group A and were eliminated from the first round.

The Jordan Cup semis are set to see Wihdat play Faisali while Ramtha meet Jazira on May 12 and 16 before playing the final on May 20.

Last season, Wihdat retained the title with Faisali, Ahli, Jazira and Shabab Urdun in top five spots. It was Wihdat’s third consecutive and 15th league title since they moved up to the Professional League in 1975. Faisali beat Wihdat to clinch the Super Cup while it was Ahli, who after years in the backstage, beat Shabab Urdun to win their first Jordan Cup final.

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Saturday 24 June 2017

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