'Our hearts are with you': Jordan makes Asian Cup semi-finals, dedicates wins to Gaza
Jordan advanced to the semi-finals by beating Tajikistan 1-0 Friday, ending the Central Asian team's dream run at the tournament.
Speaking to The New Arab’s Arabic-sister site after the game, Jordan’s Musa al-Taamari said the victory was their gift to the Palestinian people.
"Before the match, we were happy after hearing news of an imminent truce in Gaza. We are playing and our hearts are with them [the Palestinians] and we are keeping up to date," the 26-year-old told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
"The first words we say in the locker room is that we dedicate any victory to our people in Gaza, and then to the Jordanian people," he said.
Jordan will next face South Korea, who beat Australia 2-1 on Friday.
More than 27,000 people have been killed by Israel’s bombardment on Gaza, which has last almost four months.
Brief respite for Gaza came at the end of November, when a truce was agreed on and lasted a week.
Mediators Qatar, Egypt, and the US are trying to reach a deal that could potentially see fighting between Israel and Hamas put on hold for weeks.
Jordan made history with their win under their Moroccan coach Hussein Ammouta, with the team having been defeated in their previous quarter-finals in 2004 and 2011.
"We were rewarded for our efforts and our ambitions are getting bigger and bigger," said defender Yazan al-Arab, who was named man of the match.
"This was history. We are into the semi-finals and we rely on our fans to keep supporting us no matter who we play.
"We need now to forget the Tajikistan match and concentrate on the semi-finals and our dream of reaching the final."
Agencies contributed to this report