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Jordan’s U-23 football team qualifies to Asian Championship

By Aline Bannayan - Mar 27,2019 - Last updated at Mar 27,2019

AMMAN  — Jordan’s U-23 men’s national team qualified to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship after topping Group E qualifiers which ended in Kuwait.

Jordan beat the host Kuwait 2-1 before overcoming Kyrgyzstan 3-0 and holding Syria 1-1 to top Group E as the group winner and five top second placed teams advanced to the 4th AFC U-23 Championship, which was a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The qualification was a positive boost as team officials and head coach Ahmad Abdul Qader were apprehensive of the team’s chances as club competitions and national team agendas hampered the regrouping and optimal training. 

Other group winners included Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, the UAE, Uzbekistan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China and Vietnam. Second place qualifiers are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Australia and Thailand.

In 2018, the U-23 men’s team was knocked out of Round 1 of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship. In 2016 Jordan reached the quarter-finals while in 2014 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. 

The women’s national football team won the 6th West Asian Championship for the fifth time. The team is now preparing for Round 2 of the Asian qualifiers for qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The U-16 men’s team has just concluded a training camp in preparation for the U-16 AFC Championship in September. 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 four countries qualifying. The U-16 women’s squad was also eliminated from Round 1, Group A qualifiers for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship. 

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

Jordan was hoping to advance in the Asian event after they 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. They exited the first round in 2008 and 2010, and reached the quarters in 2012. 

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