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Jordan in tough group in Asian U-19 Championship

By Aline Bannayan - May 19,2018 - Last updated at May 19,2018

AMMAN — Jordan was drawn in Group C for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship alongside Australia, South Korea and Vietnam.

The competition will see 16 teams playing in four groups with the eventual semifinalists playing in the FIFA U-19 World Cup.

Group A includes Indonesia, the UAE, Qatar and Taiwan. Group B includes Japan, Iraq, Thailand and North Korea, while Group D includes Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, China and Malaysia.

“It’s probably the toughest group in the competition, but we will aim to advance. We are serious and aim to be competitive on the continent, “ Jordan’s coach Ahmad Abdul Qader was quoted by the media as saying following the draw.

Jordan had topped Group E qualifiers which were held in Amman in November 2017. It beat Syria 2-1, Palestine 2-0 and held Iran 0-0.

The continents’ 43 teams were been split between East and West Asia into groups of five or four teams with the top team from each group and five second-placed teams advancing to the AFC U-19 Asian Championship.

Jordan had failed to qualify to the Championships in 2014 and 2016 after earlier qualifying four times and reaching the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. The team finished fourth in 2006, but exited the first round in 2008 and 2010, and reached the quarters in 2012. 

Earlier this year, Jordan’s Under-23 were knocked out of the first round of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship which acts as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Jordan advanced to the AFC U-23 Championship from Group E qualifiers in which it finished second behind Palestine. In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship missed an Olympic slot as the continent’s top three advanced to the Rio Olympics. In the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in 2014, Jordan took third place when it beat South Korea while Iraq won the title after defeating Saudi Arabia.

Jordan’s U-16 team has also qualified to the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship after topping Group A qualifiers. Organized by the AFC, and held once every two years for Asian U-16 teams, the competition also serves as a qualification tournament for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. Iraq is the reigning champ.

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