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Women’s football team prepares for regional agenda

By Aline Bannayan - Aug 30,2015 - Last updated at Aug 30,2015

AMMAN — The women’s national football team only has two weeks to finalise its line-up as they prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics football tournament Round 2 qualifiers kicking off September 14.

After playing Morocco in two friendlies winning 2-1 and drawing 2-2, observers noted the team preparedness had many gaps both on the technical and fitness levels. The Jordanian squad only had a series of local friendlies and playing 81st ranked Morocco was not seen as a big advantage. 

Jordan is now 53rd in the latest FIFA rankings leading all Arab teams at 11th in the Asian continent after they topped Asian Group B qualifiers beating Uzbekistan 2-0, Hong Kong 1-0 and Palestine 6-0 and qualifying to Round 2 to join other group leaders Myanmar, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand following which only the top team will move to Round 3 to play the top five seeded teams — Japan, Australia, South Korea, North Korea and China. Only the top two qualify to represent Asia at the Olympic Games.

 It will be Jordan’s second time in qualifiers after the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers when they advanced to Round 2. In 2014, the senior women’s team exited Round 1 of the Asian Games and the AFC Women’s Asian Cup where they were also the only Arab team to have ever qualified. The squad is reigning West Asian champs after winning the title with Iran, Lebanon and the UAE missing the event.

U-16 team upbeat

Meanwhile, as Jordan starts the countdown to host the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2016, the Jordan Football Association (JFA) is trying to secure more friendlies for the U-16 team including playing Egypt and Uzbekistan in October.

The team had a training camp in Germany and coach Maher Abu Hantash underlined the line-up was not final and that “the opportunity to represent Jordan would be open to all with the best chosen to undertake the tough task.”

 

Women’s teams have been competing in all age divisions in the Asian zone. In 2014, the U-19 team was eliminated from Group A qualifiers for the 2015 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship after qualifying as the only Arab team in 2007. The U-16 girls team also failed to qualify to the 2015 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship after qualifying in 2013.

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