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Jordan plays Singapore in Asian Cup qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Feb 03,2014 - Last updated at Feb 03,2014

AMMAN — Jordan plays an away match against Singapore on Tuesday in its return leg of Group A Asian Cup 2015 qualifiers.

The national team could have secured its qualification to the Asian Cup on the weekend but was held 0-0 with Oman in Muscat.

The Kingdom is now second in Group A after it held Oman 0-0, tied Syria 1-1 and defeated Singapore 4-0 in Round 1. Jordan is steadily on course to book the second qualifying spot from the group with its final qualifier against Syria set for  March 5 in Amman. 

“We had a short time between the two matches in addition to the time difference in Singapore. The schedule has been to our disadvantage,” Jordan’s head coach Hossam Hassan was quoted by the local media as saying ahead of the match.

Hassan expressed his dissatisfaction at having to train on another stadium than that designated for the match set for 1:30pm Amman time. The coach might have to grapple with a slight injury to Uday Zahran who might join the injury list in addition to Hatem Aqel and Adnan Addous.

The lineup was incomplete during the training agenda as three players joined from the U22 team, while three vital players Abdullah Theeb, Khalil Bani Atiya and Shadi Abu Hashash were not released by their Saudi clubs. 

The Asian Cup 2015 qualifiers include 25 teams playing in five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and the best third-placed team will qualify to the tournament. The draw for the finals will be held on March 26.

Twelve teams have already qualified automatically to the finals set for January 9, 2015: They include Asian Cup 2011 champions Japan, third-placed South Korea, hosts and runners-up Australia, AFC Challenge Cup 2012 winners North Korea.  The 2014 AFC Challenge Cup champs will get a direct berth, and three more qualifiers will be decided from the current competing groups. 

Oman has already clinched the first qualifying berth from the group. In other groups, Iran and Kuwait have qualified from Group B; Saudi Arabia from Group C; Bahrain and Qatar from Group D; and the UAE and Uzbekistan from Group E.

Jordan is looking to be in the Asian finals for the third time since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972. 

Jordan is now 72nd in the  latest FIFA rankings and seventh among Asian Football confederation teams led by Iran who held on the top Asian spot at 34th.

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