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Jordan’s U-19 football squad leaves for friendly Doha match

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 06,2018 - Last updated at Oct 06,2018

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-19 squad left Amman for Doha on Saturday to play Qatar in a friendly ahead of the upcoming Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship hosted by Indonesia as of October 17.

Jordan will play in Group C alongside Australia, South Korea and Vietnam, as 16 teams compete in four groups with the eventual semifinalists advancing to the FIFA U-19 World Cup.

This week, Jordan’s squad returned home from Saudi Arabia where they held a training camp drawing 2-2 and beating their hosts 1-0. 

Jordan had failed to qualify to the championships in 2014 and 2016 after earlier qualifying four times and reaching the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. Jordan finished fourth in 2006, but exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012.

So far three national team were eliminated from their respective Asian events. Playing at the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship, the team had a relatively easy Group B but bowed out in the first round after crashing out to Yemen 5-1 after holding Oman and North Korea 2-2.

Held once every two years for Asian U-16 teams, the competition serves as a qualification tournament for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. Iraq is the reigning champ.

Earlier, the U-16 women’s football squad was eliminated from Group A AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Round 1 qualifiers finishing second in the group. Jordan beat Guam 9-0 and Sri Lanka 7-0, held Uzbekistan 0-0 and crashed 9-0 to China.

In addition, Jordan’s U-23 men’s team was knocked out of the first round of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship which acts as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2016, Jordan reached the quarterfinals and in 2014 Jordan finished third.

Other than the men’s U-19, there are now two other national teams left in contention. The U-19 women’s squad has concluded a training camp in Iran in preparation for the AFC U-19 Championship Round 1 qualifiers set for October 20-28. A total of 27 teams will play in six groups with Jordan in Group E alongside Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, who replaced the Northern Mariana Islands.

The group winners and the top two second placed teams move to Round 2 set for April 2019 where the teams will play in two groups with the group winner and runner up advancing to the finals to join Japan, North Korea and China.

The women’s senior team will play the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers in Group D alongside the Maldives, Palestine and Indonesia in  November.

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