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Jordan hosts Cambodia in AFC Asian Cup qualifier

By Aline Bannayan - Mar 27,2017 - Last updated at Mar 27,2017

AMMAN — Jordan hosts Cambodia on Tuesday in their opening Group C qualifier for the 2019 Asian Cup.

The 6:00pm match, against the 173rd ranked team at King Abdullah Stadium in Quweismeh, should provide a positive start for the qualifiers ahead of playing Vietnam and Afghanistan. Group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals, as well as the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Teams already having qualified include Australia, China, Iraq, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan and hosts the UAE.

The qualifiers, which will start March 28 and end on March 27, 2018, will see teams playing in six groups. Jordan is the top ranked team in Group C with, but head coach Abdullah Misfer said his squad does not underestimate any opponent. “ We will seek to lead the group and advance and be competitive in the Asian Cup.”

The national team has not had very glistening results or preparation period. It was a year of overhauling the team as the squad had inconsistent results and a change of five coaches as Jordan was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. 

As the team slid further down to 115th in the latest FIFA Rankings and is still out of the Asian top 10, it also did not get the chance to play leading teams and settled for playing 142nd ranked Hong Kong whom they beat 4-0 ahead of the qualifiers. They also beat 126th ranked Georgia 1-0 in the first match under the new head coach. 

Now, the team aims to get pats Asian qualifiers and advance to the Asian finals. Group C teams Vietnam is ranked 136th, Afghanistan 156th, Cambodia 173rd. 

After the Cambodia match Jordan is slated to play two friendlies with Iraq on June 2 and Hong Kong on June 7 again before their Vietnam qualifier. 

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Championship three times. The pinnacle was at the 13th Asian Cup when they lost to Japan in the quarter-finals and jumped to the best ever FIFA rank of 37th in August 2004. The lowest ranking was 152nd in 1996.

They also reached the Asian Cup finals n 2011 and 2015.

 

The Kingdom had the most memorable World Cup qualifying journey in 2013, eventiually losing to then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying match for a place in the 2014 World Cup.

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