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Jordan plays Finland, Denmark in UAE camp

By Aline Bannayan - Jan 10,2018 - Last updated at Jan 10,2018

AMMAN    Jordan plays Finland in on Thursday as the squad strives to boost competitive readiness after qualifying to the 2019 Asian Cup finals.

During their training camp in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Jordan will play world’s 66th ranked Finland at Zayed Sports City and will also play world’s 12th ranked Denmark on January 15 as coach Jamal Abu Abed tries to finalise the lineup. The coach says playing leading teams will help demonstrate and gaps adding that the squad is set to play six friendlies in the upcoming year.

Jordan ended the year at 107th in the latest FIFA rankings as it had started the year and never bettered that rank throughout the year. The team is still out of the Asian top 10 compared to their best FIFA ranking of 37th in 2004 and its lowest ranking of 152nd in 1996.

Jordan qualified to the 2019 Asian Cup finals after topping Group C eliminating relatively unknown teams in the Asian continent. Jordan beat Cambodia 7-0, Afghanistan 4-1, and was 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.

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Championship three times. The pinnacle was at the 13th Asian Cup, when they lost to Japan in the quarter-finals. 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.


During the 2014 World Cup qualifying journey, Jordan advanced to play then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie for a place in the 2014 World Cup. It 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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