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Jordan U-19 team plays Bhutan in 1st AFC qualifier

By Aline Bannayan - Nov 05,2019 - Last updated at Nov 05,2019

AMMAN — The Jordan U-19 national team plays Bhutan on Wednesday in their first match of Group E Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifiers kicking off in Manama, Bahrain alongside, Bangladesh and hosts Bahrain.

The qualifiers include 46 teams playing in 11 groups. The top team from each group and top four second placed teams will advance to the championship. 

Team officials hope to continue the positive results Jordan had in U-19 events and the squad seem upbeat after they played Iraq, Uzbekistan and Algeria in friendlies and held a training camp in Turkey and finished third at the West Asian Championship in Palestine. 

Jordan reached the AFC U-19 Championship five times with the best performance when they finished fourth in 2006 and advanced to the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. They exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and 2018 and reached the quarters in 2012. Jordan failed to qualify to the Championships in 2014 and 2016.

On the other hand, the U-23 Olympic team is preparing for the 4th AFC U-23 Championship which acts as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Jordan topped Group E qualifiers to advance to the AFC Championship which will be played January 8-26, 2020 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. 

In U-16 events, Jordan was eliminated in Group A qualifiers and lost the chance to qualify to the U-16 AFC Championship. Playing in two zones, 47 teams competed in 11 groups with the top team from each group and top four second placed teams advancing to the championship. They are Tajikistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, China, Australia and North Korea, Japan and South Korea. Uzbekistan, Oman, Yemen, Indonesia advanced from the best second placed teams.

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 eliminated from Round 1, Group A qualifiers for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship. The women’s U-19 team was also eliminated from Round 1 qualifiers for the AFC Championship.

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