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Jordan U-16 football team aims to advance in Asian qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 15,2019 - Last updated at Sep 15,2019

AMMAN — The U-16 team plays Sri Lanka on Wednesday hoping to secure early qualification in Group A qualifiers for the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship, which kicked off at Prince Mohammad Stadium in Zarqa over the weekend. 

Jordan started its journey when it beat Nepal 7-0 in their first match, while Kuwait beat Sri Lanka 2-0.

The Kingdom got a relatively easy draw and will next play Sri Lanka on September 18, Kuwait on September 20 and Tajikistan on September 22.

“The line-up is complete. We are set to play the Asian qualifiers and look forward to good results and qualifying to the Asian Championship,” head coach Khalil Fataftah told the media.

Playing in two zones, 47 teams will compete in 11 groups with the top team from each group and top four second placed teams advancing to the championship. 

The squad played a friendly tourney in Qatar and faced Algeria in friendlies during their summer training agenda.

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

The U-16 women’s squad was also eliminated from Round 1, Group A qualifiers for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship

On the other hand, the U-19 national team is readying for Group E qualifiers kicking off November 1 alongside hosts Bahrain, Bangladesh and Bhutan. 

Jordan will host Uzbekistan in two friendlies at Al Hassan Stadium in Irbid as they gear up for the qualifiers in which 46 teams will play 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, and played Algeria twice in August before finishing third at the West Asian Championship. 

The men’s U-19 national team was eliminated from Round 1 of the last AFC U-19 Championship as the semifinalists advanced to the FIFA U-19 World Cup. The women’s team was eliminated from Round 1 qualifiers for the AFC U-19 Championship. 

Jordan was hoping to advance in the Asian event after it failed to qualify to the Championships in 2014 and 2016. It was the fifth time for Jordan at the Championship with the best showing when it finished fourth in 2006 and advanced to the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. Jordan exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. 

The U-23 Olympic team is also readying to host Syria in two friendlies on September 23 and 26 as the team prepares for the 4th AFC U-23 Championship that acts as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The team returned from a training camp in Qatar where they faced their hosts losing 3-2 in the first match before winning the second 5-1. 

Jordan topped Group E qualifiers to advance to the AFC Championship that will be played January 8-26 in Thailand.

In 2018, the U-23 men’s team was knocked out of Round 1 of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship. In 2016, they reached the quarterfinals and in 2014 they finished third.

Earlier this year, the men’s national team was eliminated in the Round of 16 at the Asian Cup 2019 as Qatar won the title for the first time.

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