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Jordan hosts Nepal in Asian Group B qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 14,2019 - Last updated at Oct 14,2019

AMMAN — Jordan hosts Nepal on Tuesday in its third match in Group B qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup.

Jordan last held Kuwait 0-0 in its second qualifier, and needs to win to advance their standing ahead of playing Australia on November 14 and Taiwan on November 19. The qualifiers will then halt until March 31 when the face Kuwait before playing matches against Nepal on June 4 and Australia on June 9.

Australia now tops Group B after it beat Nepal 5-0. Earlier matches saw Kuwait beat Nepal 7-0, and lost to Australia 3-0. Jordan beat world 129th ranked Taiwan 2-1 and Nepal beat Taiwan 2-0.

The top team from each of the eight groups and four second place finishers will move to the Asian 2023 finals and the third round of World Cup qualifiers.

It should not be a tough match against the world’s 161st ranked guests for Jordan. However, observers have pointed out to lack of cohesion and inconsistent performances lately. Jordan is now 98th in FIFA Rankings after they held Singapore to a goalless draw and beat Malaysia 1-0. They also lost 4-2 to world’s 40th ranked and eight time World Cup qualifier Paraguay. Jordan is now 15th in the continent and lags behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams compared to their best FIFA ranking of 37th in 2004.  

During summer Jordan finished runner up to Bahrain at the 9th West Asian Championship . It was the fourth time for Jordan in the final after 2002, 2008 and 2014.  Iran won the title for the fourth time in 2008. Iraq won the title once in 2002, Kuwait in 2010, Syria in 2012 and Qatar in 2014, Bahrain in 2019. 

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. They also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015 and 2019. In the last Asian finals Jordan reached the Round of 16.

The national team’s best 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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