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Jordan plays Taiwan in opening of Asian qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 04,2019 - Last updated at Sep 04,2019

AMMAN — Jordan takes on Taiwan on Thursday as it kicks off the long journey of the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and 2023 Asian Cup in China competing in Group B alongside Australia, Kuwait and Nepal.

The Kingdom just ended a training camp in Malaysia where it beat the host 1-0. Following its return from Taipei, Jordan will ready to face Paraguay in a friendly on September 10 before they resume qualifiers and host Nepal and Kuwait on October 10 and 15 and host Australia on November 14 and Taiwan on November 19. The qualifiers will then halt until March 31 when leg 2 resumes.

The Kingdom dropped one spot to 99th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, which came after two friendly matches losing to Slovakia 5-1 before beating Indonesia 4-1. Once among the Asia top 10, Jordan is now 16th in the continent but still lags behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams compared to their best FIFA ranking of 37th in 2004.  

During summer Jordan played at the 9th West Asian Championship which was won by Bahrain. It was the fourth time for Jordan in the final, finishing runner-up three times but never winning the title.

Initiated by Jordan in 2000, and headed by HRH Prince Ali, president of the Jordan Football Association and the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), Jordan’s best finish at WAFF Championship was runner-up in 2002, 2008 and 2014. Iran won the title for the fourth time in 2008. Iraq won the title once in 2002, Kuwait in 2010, Syria in 2012 and Qatar in 2014, Bahrain in 2019. 


National teams gear up


Meanwhile, the U-19 national team is readying for Group E qualifiers kicking off November 1 alongside hosts Bahrain, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Playing in two zones, 46 teams will compete in 11 groups. The top team from each group and top four second placed teams will advance to the championship. The squad held a training camp in Turkey, played Algeria twice in August before finishing third at the West Asian Championship in Palestine. 

The U-16 team is also preparing for its Group A qualifiers for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship. Jordan got a relatively easy draw against Tajikistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Kuwait for the qualifiers to be hosted in Amman from September 14 through the 22nd. Playing in two zones, 47 teams will compete in 11 groups. The top team from each group and top four second placed teams will advance to the championship. The team played a friendly tourney in Qatar and played Algeria in friendlies during their summer training agenda.

Last year, Jordan bowed out of the Round 1 of the 2018 AFC U-16 Men’s Championship. Held once every two years, the competition serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top 4 countries qualifying. 

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