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Jordan hopes to compete in all Asian age divisions

By Aline Bannayan - Jul 29,2017 - Last updated at Jul 29,2017

AMMAN — After the national U-23 team qualified to the 3rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in 2018, officials hope the U-19 and U-16 teams will fare well in their respective qualifiers.

In Group E qualifiers, Jordan lost to hosts Palestine 3-2, beat Tajikistan 2-0 and Bangladesh 7-0 to finish second in the group. Palestine topped the group and moved with Jordan from Group E.

Forty teams played in 10 groups with the top team from each group, in addition to the top five second place teams moving to the U-23 Championship finals. Oman moved from Group A, Iraq and Saudi from Group B, Qatar and Syria from Group C, Uzbekistan from Group D, Australia form Group F, North Korea from Group G, Malaysia and Thailand from Group H, South Korea and Vietnam from Group I and China and Japan from Group J.

In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship and failed to make it to the top four and a possible Olympic slot as the continent’s top three advanced to the Rio Games football tournament. In the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in 2014, Jordan took third place when they beat South Korea while Iraq won the title after defeating Saudi Arabia.

Jordan’s U-23 squad was eliminated from the 1st West Asian U-23 Championship in 2015, and in 2014 the line-up represented Jordan at the Asian Games where they made to the quarter-finals.

The Kingdom’s younger squads are also training for their respective Asian qualifiers. The U-19 men’s team played Egypt twice losing 1-0 and drawing 0-0 after they played Iraq drawing 3-3 after winning 1-0.

Jordan is set to play in Group E alongside Syria, Palestine and hosts Iran in the qualifiers, and hope to advance after they were eliminated from the qualifying rounds of the 2016 Championship.

Jordan previously qualified to the Asian Championship four times and reached the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. Jordan finished fourth in 2006, but exited the group stages in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2014 Championship.

 

Similarly, the U-16 team is now preparing for their Asian qualifiers where they will play in Group A alongside host Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Sri Lanka. In 2015, the U-16 squad failed to advance to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship.

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