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Jordan takes on Egypt in friendly match

By Aline Bannayan - Jan 26,2016 - Last updated at Jan 26,2016

AMMAN  — Jordan plays Egypt on Wednesday in a friendly as Jordan refocuses on qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup doubling as part of the qualification for 2019 Asian Cup resuming in March.

Despite the fact that Jordan’s upcoming qualifiers against Bangladesh and Australia are still two months away, Jordan’s coach Abdullah Abu Zam’eh said the match and regrouping was important to help finalise the squad which will play without pros abroad while some were on the injury list and U-23 players just returned from the AFC U-23 Championship quarter-finals will miss the first week of the camp.

“The result will not be our major concern, but rather giving newly recalled players a chance while having a choice of the best to represent the squad on the long-run,” Abu Zam’eh noted as the former national team star seeks to take his team beyond the qualifying stage.

Jordan is now second in Group B behind Australia after it lost 1-0 to Kyrgyzstan following two wins over AFC champs Australia 2-0 and Tajikistan 3-0. In the first leg, Jordan was held to a disappointing 0-0 draw with Kyrgyzstan, beat Tajikistan 3-1 and Bangladesh 4-0. The group winners and four best runners-up (total 12 teams) will advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup finals and the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots (12 slots or 11 slots + 1 slot for the host) in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup. 

 

Jordan is now 86th in FIFA World Rankings. The Kingdom last beat Malta 2-0 in a friendly and will play the last two qualifiers against Bangladesh at home on March 24, and Australia in an away match on March 29 in what has been an inconsistent year for the squad which has had three coaches leading the vital qualifying process. Jordan was led by Briton Ray Wilkins under whom the team failed to advance past the group stage of the 16th Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in 2015 before Ahmad Abdul Qader took over in the transitional phase under whom the team played the first qualifier. Belgian Paul Put took over in July and his contract was recently suspended after he was convicted of match fixing in the Belgian League.

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