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Jordan kicks off 2026 World Cup qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Nov 15,2023 - Last updated at Nov 15,2023

AMMAN — Jordan’s national football team is set to meet Tajikistan on Thursday as it starts qualifiers for the 23rd World Cup 2026 which also serve as qualifiers for the 2027 Asian Cup,

The squad plays its first Group G qualifier in the Tajik capital Dushanbe at at 4:00 pm Jordan local time before facing Saudi Arabia on November 21 in Amman, and Pakistan later on. 36 Asian teams will be playing in 9 groups with the top two teams from each group advancing to Round 3.

Although there is a lot of apprehension by observers and commentators over the national team’s readiness, it was reported the squad was upbeat and hoping to come home with a win. Jordan , now ranked 86th, beat 108th ranked Tajikistan twice in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.

Under Jordan’s new Moroccan coach Hussein Amouta, the team has failed to score any wins, and lost four matches doing down 6-0 to Norway and 2-1 to Azerbaijan, before  hosting a four-nation tourney where they lost 3-1 to Iran and tied Iraq 2-2 before losing on penalties.

In last minute preparations, Amouta who acknowledged gaps in Jordan’s defence, dropped 9 players from the last  lineup and recalled six new players with the aims of advancing Jordan to the 2026 World Cup. 

“We know the weight of responsibility on our shoulders and will work tirelessly to achieve our aim of reaching the World Cup,” Jordan’s Yazan Nuei’mat who plays in Qatari League told the press.  

Teammate goalie Yazeed Abu Laila added the lineup was now more coherent and adapted to new coach’s strategy and style and aimed to come back home with a win. Coach Amouta noted, “The eventual aim would be to have a younger competitive group who can serve the national team for upcoming years.” 

Jordan also hopes for an advanced spot in the upcoming Asian Cup 2023 slated for Qatar in January 12, 2024, where they will play in Group E alongside Bahrain, Malaysia and South Korea.

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