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Jordan hosts Kuwait, keeps dropping in FIFA Rankings

By Aline Bannayan - Mar 18,2018 - Last updated at Mar 18,2018

AMMAN — Jordan is readying to play Kuwait on Wednesday before playing Vietnam in its final 2019 Asian Cup qualifier on March 27 with the draw for the finals a month away.

This week, Jordan dropped one spot to 117th in the latest FIFA Rankings issued over the weekend. The team’s latest results and ranking means it will not be in best position for the Asian Cup draw. Jordan lately lost to world’s 66th ranked Finland and beat 12th ranked Denmark’s second tier U-21 team during a training camp in Abu Dhabi, as observers pointed out that facing second tier line-ups might not give expected outcomes. The upcoming agenda might include matches against China, Uruguay, Croatia and Albania as coaches try to prepare the team with matches against leading sides.

Jordan has already secured qualification to the Asian Cup finals after topping Group C eliminating relatively unknown teams in the Asian continent. The Kingdom beat Cambodia 7-0, Afghanistan 4-1, and were held 0-0 with Vietnam. In the return leg, Jordan managed a 3-3 draw with Afghanistan and beat Cambodia 1-0 to qualify alongside second place Vietnam.

Jordan is still out of the Asian top 10, trailing Iran (33), Australia (37), Japan (55), South Korea (59), China (65), Saudi Arabia (69), Uzbekistan (72), Palestine (73), Syria (74), the UAE (79), Iraq (83), Lebanon (87), India (99), Qatar (101), Oman (103), Vietnam (113), Turkmenistan (114) and Kyrgyzstan (115).

Germany leads the top 10 world rankings, followed by Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, France and Chile.

Tunisia are the top-ranked Arab team at 23rd, followed by Morocco (42), Egypt (44), Algeria (60) and Saudi Arabia (69).

Jordan ended 2017 in 107th spot — a position it did not better throughout last year. The team is now lagging behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams compared to its best FIFA Ranking of 37th in August 2004. The lowest ranking was 152nd in 1996.

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Championship three times. They also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015.

After elimination from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, qualifying to the Asian finals was a priority for Jordan who have steadily slid down FIFA Rankings, and the team has had an inconsistent two years compared to 2013 when Jordan was on the verge of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup for the first time and advanced to play then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie. Jordan lost the home game 5-0 and held the former World Cup champs 0-0 in the away match. Jordan had never reached that far in World Cup qualifying since taking part in qualifiers. Round 3 had been the furthest Jordan reached in the past seven times in the qualifiers since 1986.

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