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Jordan plays Palestine in U-23 Asian qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 30,2021 - Last updated at Oct 30,2021

AMMAN — Jordan’s national U-23 football squad plays Palestine on Sunday in its final match of Group F Asian U-23 qualifiers advancing the group’s top team to the 5th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in Uzbekistan in June 2022.

Jordan booked the qualifying spot from Group F after it beat Turkmenistan 1-0 on the opening day as the later later beat Palestine 3-1 to take second place in the group.

Thirty-nine teams are contesting the qualifiers for 15 spots to join hosts Uzbekistan in the championship that will be held in Central Asia for the first time.

So far, Qatar qualified from Group A, Tajikistan from Group B, Iraq from Group C, Kuwait from Group D, UAE from Group E, Australia from Group G. China withdrew from the competition over COVID-19 concerns while Afghanistan and Brunei also did not compete.

Jordan won the 2021 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) U-23 Championship after beating host Saudi Arabia in the final. On their way to the final, they beat Kuwait and Yemen 2-1 and lost to Oman 1-0 in the group stages.  In the semifinals, they eliminated Syria 5-2 as Saudi Arabia beat Iraq 1-0.

In 2015, Jordan was eliminated in the group stages of the first edition of the WAFF U-23 Championship won by Iran, before Iran moved to the Central Asian Football Association.

Previously, the U-23 squad reached the AFC U-23 Championship four times: in 2014 Jordan finished third; in 2016, it reached the quarter-finals; in 2018, it was knocked out of Round 1; and in 2020, Jordan reached the quarter-finals of championship — which was a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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