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Jordan plays Oman in Asian Cup qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Jan 30,2014 - Last updated at Jan 30,2014

AMMAN — Jordan plays Oman on Friday in the return leg of Group A Asian Cup 2015 qualifiers in Muscat, Oman.

Jordan is now second in Group A after they held Oman 0-0, tied Syria 1-1 and defeated Singapore 4-0. Their next match will be on February 4 against Singapore while the last match is set against Syria on March 5 in Amman.

The Asian Cup 2015 qualifiers include 25 teams playing in five groups of four teams each. The top two teams from each group and the best third-placed team will qualify to the tournament. The draw for the finals will be held on March 26.

Twelve teams have already qualified automatically to the finals set for January 9, 2015: They include Asian Cup 2011 champions Japan, third-placed South Korea, hosts and runners-up Australia, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup 2012 winners North Korea. The 2014 AFC Challenge Cup champs will get a direct berth, and three more qualifiers will be decided from the current competing groups.

Oman has already clinched the first qualifying berth from the Group. In other groups, Iran and Kuwait have qualified from Group B; Saudi Arabia from Group C; Bahrain and Qatar from Group D; and the UAE and Uzbekistan from Group E.

Jordan is looking to be in the Asian finals for the third time in their past eight times since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972.

Jordan reached the finals twice: in the 13th Asian Cup, they lost to Japan in the quarter-finals and jumped to the best-ever FIFA rank of 37th in August 2004. In 2011, they again reached the quarter-finals where they lost to Uzbekistan 2-1.

The line-up was never fully complete during their training agenda. Head coach Hossam Hassan had a line-up that included six U-22 players at the West Asian Football Federation event after players in Gulf clubs were not released. He also had to grapple with that issue during training in Dubai last week before the squad was complemented by four players from the U-22 team that took third spot in the inaugural U-22 AFC Championship.

On Wednesday, Ahmad Hayel and Saeed Murjan, who play in Kuwait, joined the line-up while Abdullah Theeb, Khalil Bani Atiya and Shadi Abu Hashash were not released by their Saudi clubs. 

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