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Jordan’s U-23 team needs win to stay in competition

By Aline Bannayan - Jan 15,2018 - Last updated at Jan 15,2018

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-23 football team plays Iraq on Tuesday in its third match Group C at the 3rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship currently under way in China.

Jordan is now second in the group after it lost the chance to secure qualification to the second round after two draws. It lost their 2-0 lead over Saudi Arabia, crashing down to a 2-2 draw. It also followed that by losing its 1-0 lead over Malaysia, felling to a 1-1 draw. 

Now, Jordan has to beat Iraq in its final Round 1 match as the top two teams from each group will move to the quarters. Sixteen teams are now playing in four groups.

Iraq leads group C after it held Saudi Arabia 0-0 and beat Malaysia 4-1.

In the course of preparations, Jordan beat Syria 1-0, held Thailand 2-2 and beat them 1-0. It hosted Oman beating it 2-1 before losing by the same score. This week, the squad held a training camp in Dubai where it beat China 2-0 and beat the Emirates Club 4-3 in the final phase of preparations for U-23 finals as well as the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Jordan advanced to the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers after finishing second behind Palestine from Group E, Oman moved from Group A, Iraq and Saudi from Group B, Qatar and Syria from Group C, Uzbekistan from Group D, Australia form Group F, North Korea from Group G, Malaysia and Thailand from Group H, South Korea and Vietnam from Group I and China and Japan from Group J.

In the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in 2014, Jordan took third place when it beat South Korea while Iraq won the title after defeating Saudi Arabia. 

In 2016, Jordan reached the quarter-finals of the AFC U-23 Championship and failed to make it to the top four and a possible Olympic slot at the Rio Games. 

Jordan’s U-23 squad played the 1st West Asian U-23 Championship in 2015, and in 2014 the line-up represented the Kingdom at the Asian Games where it made to the quarter-finals.

This year, Jordan also qualified to the AFC U-19 Championship after the topped Group E qualifiers. Jordan had failed to qualify to the Championships in 2014 and 2016 after earlier qualifying four times and reaching the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. The team finished fourth in 2006, but exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. 

Jordan’s U-16 team qualified to the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship after topping Group A qualifiers. Organised by the AFC, and held once every two years, the competition also serves as a qualification tournament for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship.

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