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Jordan out of Asian Olympic football qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Apr 15,2019 - Last updated at Apr 15,2019

AMMAN — It has been a bad season for the men’s and women’s national football teams who have both been eliminated from the Asian events.

The women’s team had an unimpressive run in Round 2 of the Asian Olympic qualifiers which ended this week. Jordan held Hong Kong to a goalless draw before losing to Vietnam and Uzbekistan 2-0, as Vietnam qualified from the group. Only the group leader advanced to Round 3 of the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Qualifying teams include Myanmar from Group A, Vietnam from B and Taiwan from C. They who will join Australia, South and North Korea, China and Thailand in Round 3 where they will play in two groups with the group winner and runner-up playing a final round before the top two move on to the finals alongside hosts Japan.

Jordan had played a friendly tourney in Turkey where the team beat Turkmenistan 3-0, held Kazakhstan 1-1, but lost to Ireland 6-0 and the French second tier team 10-0. It was the third time for Jordan in Asian qualifiers. They had also been eliminated in Round 2 in qualifiers for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

This year, the squad won the 6th West Asian Women’s Championship for the fifth time, and the national team is now the leading Arab team at 54th in FIFA World Rankings. 

The men’s team was also eliminated in the Round of 16 at the Asian Cup 2019 as Qatar won the title for the first time. That followed elimination from World Cup qualifiers, as fans pinned hope on the Asian zone events.

In U-19 competitions, the women’s team was eliminated from Round 1 qualifiers for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship. Likewise, the men’s U-19 national team was eliminated from Round 1 of the AFC U19 Championship as the semifinalists advanced to the FIFA U-19 World Cup.

Jordan was hoping to advance in the Asian event after they failed to qualify to the Championships in 2014 and 2016. It was the fifth time for Jordan at the Championship with the best showing when it finished fourth in 2006 and advanced to the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. Jordan exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. 

The U-23 men’s national team qualified to the 4th AFC U-23 Championship which acts as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2018, the team was knocked out of Round 1 of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship. In 2016, Jordan reached the quarter-finals and in 2014 Jordan finished third.

The U-16 men’s team has just concluded a training camp in preparation for the U-16 AFC Championship in September. Last year, Jordan bowed out of the Round 1 of the 2018 AFC U-16 Men’s Championship. Held once every two years, the competition serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. The U-16 women’s squad was also eliminated from Round 1, Group A qualifiers for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship. 

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