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Jordan U23 squad faces Iraq at Asian Championship

By Aline Bannayan - May 31,2022 - Last updated at May 31,2022

AMMAN — The U-23 football team is all set for the 5th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship which kicks off in Uzbekistan on Wednesday.

Fifteen nations have joined the host in the championship where Jordan is playing in tough Group B, kicking off against Iraq on June 1 before facing Kuwait on June 4 and Australia on June 7.  

The Kingdom’s squad just concluded a training camp in Doha, where they played play Qatar in two friendlies holding them to a 1-1 draw before scoring a 3-2 win.

Head coach Ahmad Hayel was happy with the camp’s outcome. Having the chance to try all players in addition to the team’s form and offensive capabilities in the second match put the squad on an upbeat note ahead of the championship which will be held in Central Asia for the first time.  

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

On the regional scene, Jordan won the title of the 2021 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) U23 Championship in which they beat hosts Saudi Arabia in the final. In 2015, Jordan was eliminated in the group stages of the first edition of the WAFF U23 Championship won by Iran, before the latter moved to the Central Asian Football Association. 

 

Senior team meets Australia today

 

Meanwhile, the national football team’s performance in their training camp currently underway in Doha has raised lost of question marks before they start the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers in Kuwait next week.

So far, Jordan beat India 2-0 in their first friendly, but the team’s below par performance was not satisfying. The squad is set to play Australia on Wednesday in their last friendly. 

Jordan starts its Group A qualifiers playing Nepal on June 8, Indonesia on June 11 before facing hosts Kuwait on June 14. The top team in addition to the top five second- placed teams will move on to the finals which will be held in 2023. 

While coach Adnan Hamad noted “choosing the current lineup took a lot of considerations into account as the national U-23 team also has its Asian Championship simultaneously,” coaches and observers underlined Hamad had been with the team for nearly a year and it was time for the team to start making a considerable improvement.

Coach Walid Fataftah noted “the starting lineup needs to undergo some changes. It’s not a surprise to any team Jordan plays anymore. Hamad has the best players and he should utilise them to his squad’s best interest”.

Meanwhile, the draw for the U-20 qualifiers was held this week putting Jordan in Group C alongside Taiwan, Syria, Turkmenistan and the Northern Mariana Islands. The qualifiers will be held in Jordan in September. 44 nations will play in 10 groups with the top team in each group and five second-placed teams moving to the finals in Uzbekistan in 2023.

Similarly, the draw for the U-17 qualifiers placed Jordan in Group A alongside Japan, Syria, Philippines and Turkmenistan. The qualifiers will be held in Jordan in October. 44 nations will play in 10 groups with the top team in each group and five second-place teams moving to the finals in Bahrain in 2023.

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