MELBOURNE (AFP) - Hamza Aldaradreh scored the first hat-trick of Asian Cup on Friday, as Jordan hammered Palestine 5-1 to keep themselves alive in the competition.
Aldaradreh finished with four goals, helping Jordan end a miserable run of 11 games without a win, but their hopes of advancing still hang in the balance with defending champions Japan to come in their final Group D game on Tuesday.
Yousef Ahmad scored with a superb curling effort after 33 minutes, before Aldaradreh doubled Jordan's advantage moments later.
The striker grabbed his second in first-half stoppage time to leave Palestine with a mountain to climb and completed his treble with a clinical strike in the 75th minute. Adrenaline pumping, he piled on the misery for Palestine with another goal from point-blank range.
But Palestine carved out a little piece of history for themselves from a pulsating match when Jaka Hbaisha smashed home a consolation goal five minutes from time.
The result will give Jordan coach Ray Wilkins a huge lift with the Englishman under fire after failing to arrest the team's slide since taking over last September.
Wilkins, robbed of star striker Ahmad Hayel after he collapsed from dehydration during a dope test following Jordan's 1-0 defeat by Iraq earlier this week, endured a nervous opening as Hisham Salhi's viciously dipping effort was tipped onto the bar by goalkeeper Amer Shafi.
Confident and cohesive where they had been awestruck in their 4-0 thumping by Japan on their Asian Cup debut, Palestine paid the price for their gung-ho approach, however, as Ahmad scored with a peach of a goal against the run of play.
Aldaradreh then ran riot, his whirlwind display making him the competition's top scorer and giving Jordan a chance of sneaking into the quarter-finals.
Hayel, meanwhile told AFP that he is happy to be re-tested. He started vomiting and lost consciousness after drinking a large amount of water when asked for a urine sample after Jordan's 1-0 loss to Iraq on Monday.
Jordanian officials lodged an official protest, but Hayel said he was ready to do another test if asked by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). "I am ready to do another test," he said in an interview late on Thursday. "I have never taken illegal substances in my life."
Strict new World Anti-Doping Agency rules say players can be banned for four years for failing to provide a urine sample. But Jordanian officials also told AFP that it was the AFC doctor who cancelled the test when Hayel fell ill, and anyway that the sample he managed to give was sufficient. They earlier said Hayel left the stadium in Brisbane in a "semi-coma" and suffering from hypothermia.
The player called it a "bad situation". "Everything was normal until I entered the doping room," said Hayel. "The humidity was high in Brisbane but it was freezing cold in that room. "I couldn't urinate, so they made me drink a lot of water. I started to throw up and then passed out. It was a bad situation."
Jordan's coach Ray Wilkins tore into the AFC, accusing them of endangering the player's health.
But Hayel insisted he would do everything possible to take part in Jordan's final Group D clash against Asian Cup-holders Japan on Tuesday in Melbourne. "I will play in the Japan game even if it kills me," he said. "I'm so sad about what's happened because the Jordan fans rely on me."
"I couldn't train yesterday," added Hayel. "I had a blood test and everything was normal but I need to replace sugar and salt into my body and feel extremely tired."
The AFC has insisted the correct protocol had been followed.
With his side facing an early exit following their opening game defeat by 2007 Asian Cup winner Iraq, Wilkins expressed his annoyance at being robbed of his forward.
"I will not chance any young man if he has a problem, never - so we may lose Ahmad for two games," said the former Queens Park Rangers and Fulham manager, under pressure after only four months in the job. "We've lost a very important player. The most important consideration must be the well-being of the player."