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Jordan climbs in FIFA rankings

By Aline Bannayan - Nov 23,2017 - Last updated at Nov 23,2017

AMMAN   —   Jordan climbed  up 6 spots to 107th in the latest FIFA rankings following its qualification to the Asian Cup finals.

Jordan beat Cambodia 1-0 in its penultimate return leg 2019 Asian Cup qualifier to secure the place in the final, despite uneasiness over the teams competitive form.

With the top two teams from each group moving to the Asian Cup finals set for the UAE in 2019, the limited capabilities of Jordan's Group C paved the way for the team to  advance to the 2019 Asian Cup against relatively unknown teams in the Asian continent. 

Jordan is also still out of the Asian top 10 compared to its best FIFA ranking of 37th in 2004 compared to the lowest ranking was 152nd in 1996.   The national team now trails Iran (32) Australia (39), Japan (55), South Korea (59), China (60), Saudi Arabia (63), UAE (73), Syria (77),  Iraq (79),  Uzbekistan (80), Palestine (82), Lebanon (87), Oman (101), Qatar (102) and India (105). 

Germany leads World rankings at No.1, followed by Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, France and Chile. Tunisia is the top-ranked Arab team at 27th, followed by Egypt 31st, Morocco 40th, Saudi Arabia 63rd and Algeria 64th. 

Jordan has maintained  Group C lead since Leg 1, when it  beat  Cambodia 7-0, Afghanistan 4-1 , and was held 0-0 with Vietnam. As the return leg  kicked off, Jordan only managed a 3-3 draw with Afghanistan qualified alongside second place Vietnam which held beat Cambodia 5-0 and 2-1, held Afghanistan 0-0 and 1-1. Afghanistan jumped to third after drawing with Vietnam while Cambodia which beat Afghanistan 1-0 are fourth.

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Championship three times: the pinnacle was at the 13th Asian Cup, when it lost to Japan in the quarterfinals and jumped to the best ever FIFA rank of 37th in August 2004. Jordan also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015.

After elimination from the 2018 World Cup  qualifiers, qualifying to the Asian finals is now a priority for Jordan which has steadily slid down FIFA rankings  and the team has had an inconsistent two years compared to 2013, when Jordan was on the verge of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup for the first time.

During the 2014 World Cup qualifying journey, Jordan advanced to play then World's 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie for a place in the 2014 World Cup. It lost the home game 5-0 and held the former World Cup champ 0-0 in the away match. Jordan had never reached that far in World Cup qualifying since taking part in qualifiers. Round 3 had been the furthest Jordan reached in the  past seven times in the qualifiers since 1986.

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