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Asian U-17, U20 draws held; senior team awaits World Cup Round 3 qualifying draw

By Aline Bannayan - Jun 14,2024 - Last updated at Jun 14,2024

Saudi Arabia's defender #12 Saud Abdulhamid vies for the ball against Jordan's forward #11 Yazan Al Naimat during the 2026 FIFA World Cup AFC qualifiers football match between Saudi Arabia and Jordan at Al Awwal Stadium in Riyadh on Tuesday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-20 and U-17 football team’s got relatively easy draws for their respective AFC Asian Cup qualifiers on Thursday while the senior team awaits the draw for World Cup Round 3  qualifying matches which will be held June 27. 

The U-20  squad will play in Group J alongside Qatar, Singapore and Hong Kong in qualifiers set for  September with the Asian Cup being a  qualifying tourney to the U20 World Cup. Jordan  finished 4th in Asia in 2006 and moving to the U20 World Cup in 2007.

On the other hand, the U-17 team was drawn in Group A alongside Iran, Syria, Hong Kong, and North Korea with qualifiers  set for October while the U23 squad earlier exited the 6th U-23 Asian Cup and lost the chance to play for an Olympic qualifying spot. 

The  senior team returned home ahead of the weekend after finishing atop Group G Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, after they ended Saudi Arabia’s winning streak and beat them 2-1 to take the group lead and confidently advance to Round 3 of the qualifiers. Now Jordan awaits the draw and the rest of the qualifying matches resuming in September as 18 teams will be playing in three groups with the top two from each advancing to the World Cup while the rest will play another round in two groups with the group leaders advancing.

“We had set our aims on leading the group. And that’s what we did, “ Jordan’s Moroccan coach Hussein Amouta said. “The Saudi team set the pace in the first half, but the squad dealt with the game strategy as needed. Jordan is no more an ordinary Asian team,” added Amouta who took Jordan to an unforgettable 2023 Asian Cup final where Jordan beat  former Asian champs Iraq and South Korea before eventually losing to Qatar in the final. Jordan’s previous best past performance was reaching the Asian Cup quarterfinals in 2004 and 2011. 

Jordan has now booked their spot for the next edition of the 2027 Asian Cup and observers believe Jordan can make it the World Cup for the first time with FIFA expanding the format to include 16 more teams in the upcoming 2026 edition.   The coach has clearly shifted the squad’s mental edge and competitive style and strategy on the pitch.

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