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Jordan edges up three spots in FIFA Rankings

By Aline Bannayan - Nov 29,2018 - Last updated at Dec 04,2018

AMMAN — Jordan went up three spots to 109th when the latest FIFA Rankings were issued on Thursday as the team starts the countdown to the 2019 Asian Cup.

The rankings come after the national team hosted India beating them 2-1 before holding Saudi Arabia 1-1 in the final home camp ahead of the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE. They will leave to Doha to hold a training camp in which they will play Kyrgyzstan on December 20, Qatar on December 24 and China on December 28 in the final phase of preparations.

Last month, Jordan held Albania 0-0 and lost 2-1 to World Cup runner-up Croatia. Earlier they tied Oman 0-0 and defeated Lebanon 1-0.

The Kingdom’s competitive edge is lacking and judging by the FIFA Rankings it seems there will be a tough task ahead. Jordan is now 19th in the Asian continent trailing Iran (29), Australia (41), Japan (50), South Korea (53), Saudi Arabia (69), Syria (74), China (76), the UAE (79), Lebanon (81), Oman (83), Iraq (88), Kyrgyzstan (91), Qatar (93), Uzbekistan (95), India (97), Palestine (99) Vietnam (100) and North Korea (109).

Tunisia is the top-ranked Arab team at 26th, followed by Morocco (40), Egypt (56), Algeria (67), Saudi Arabia (69). Once among the Asia top 10, Jordan is now 19th in the continent lagging behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams.

In the world’s top 10 Belgium is now in the top spot, with World Cup champ France second, followed by Brazil, Croatia, England, Portugal, Uruguay, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark.

While the national team’s path to the Asian Championship was not difficult against relatively unknown teams in the continent, the Asian Cup is a different story. Jordan will play in Group B alongside Australia on January 6, Syria on January 10 and Palestine on January 15 as 24 teams will play in six groups with the top two from each group and four third placed teams advance to the Round of 16. 

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Championship three times. The peak was at the 13th Asian Cup when its lost to Japan in the quarter-finals and jumped to the best ever FIFA Ranking of 37th in August 2004. They also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015.

After elimination from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, playing in the Asian finals became Jordan’s focus. The team has had inconsistent results compared to 2013 when Jordan was on the verge of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup for the first time and advanced to play then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie. 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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