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Jordan assesses 2023 Asian Cup competitive readiness

By Aline Bannayan - Jun 16,2022 - Last updated at Jun 16,2022

AMMAN — The national football team is back home after securing qualification to the 2023 Asian Cup.

Team officials and the Jordan Football Association now have to assess the team’s readiness for Asia’s top football event which will be held in 2023. Jordan has now reached the Asian Cup five times since first taking part in qualifiers in 1972. The highlight was at the 13th Asian Cup in 2004, when they lost to Japan in the quarter-finals and jumped to the best ever FIFA Ranking of 37th. They also reached the Asian Cup in 2011, 2015 and 2019.

Currently ranked 91st in FIFA Rankings, Jordan had a relatively easy draw in the qualifying Group A, and managed to beat 168th ranked Nepal 2-0 before overcoming 159th ranked Indonesia 1-0 and 146th ranked hosts Kuwait 3-0 in the third match. 

The top team in addition to the top five second- placed teams moved on to the finals.

Jordan joined Palestine, Uzbekistan, India, Bahrain and Tajikistan who moved as group leaders and were joined by Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan.

Hamad has now guided Jordan through the stage of qualifying to the 2023 Asian Cup, after the team had an early exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers under Belgian Vital Borkelmans.

Veteran coach Issa Turk said the team played a very good match against Kuwait, which has a track record of being a competitive, stronger side among Asian teams. “I think there is considerable improvement in the line-up and there should be a concerted effort to be fully prepared for the Cup,” he added.

Other observers allude to the fact Hamad should enlist younger players and revitalise the national squad. The past week saw Jordan’s younger squad eliminated from Round 1 at the 5th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship, after they lost to Australia 1-0, beat Kuwait 1-0 and tied Iraq 1-1. The squad’s top two players were on duty with the senior team, a note that demonstrates the need for close coordination and planning for all national team line-ups. 

It was the 5th time for Jordan in the AFC U23 Championship. In 2014 they finished third, in 2016 reached the quarter-finals, in 2018 they were knocked out of Round 1 and reached the quarter-finals in 2020.

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