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Jordan prepares to play Slovakia, Indonesia

By Aline Bannayan - Jun 04,2019 - Last updated at Jun 04,2019

AMMAN  — Jordan‘s national football team has regrouped to play two friendlies this month as it prepares for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Qatar and 2023 Asian Cup in China.

The team will leave to Bratislava on Wednesday to play Slovakia on June 7 before returning to Amman to host Indonesia on June 11.

Jordan is now 97th in the latest FIFA World Rankings issued in April which came after the Kingdom played a friendly tournament, losing to Syria and Iraq — the first matches after they were eliminated in the Round of 16 in the Asian Cup 2019 where Qatar won the title for the first time.

Since first taking part in Asian Cup qualifiers in 1972, Jordan reached the Asian Championship four times: the highlight was at the 13th Asian Cup in 2004, when it lost to Japan in the quarterfinals and jumped to the best ever FIFA rank of 37th. Jordan also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015 and 2019.

The team ended 2018 in 109th spot as the Kingdom’s competitive edge lacked consistency and although once among the Asia top 10, Jordan now lags behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams.  The Asian Cup matches improved their form in early 2019 and with it the team’s ranking with the squad hoping to start on a positive note for the upcoming events. 

The national team’s latest peak performance was in 2013 when the team 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. The Kingdom 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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