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Jordan plays Kuwait in crucial Asian football qualifier

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 10,2019 - Last updated at Oct 10,2019

AMMAN  — Jordan hosts Kuwait on Thursday in their second match in Group B qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup.

Kuwait tops the group for now on goal difference after it beat Nepal 7-0, but lost to Australia 3-0. The latter is second and Jordan third after the Kingdom won its first qualifier against Taiwan 2-1 . Nepal beat Taiwan 2-0 and is now fourth leaving Taipei last in the group.

Jordan will play its third qualifier against Nepal on October 15 before hosting Australia on November 14 and Taiwan on November 19. The qualifiers will then halt until March 31 when Jordan face Kuwait before playing matches against Nepal on June 4 and Australia on June 9.

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.

The Kingdom which went up one spot to 98th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, last played a friendly holding Singapore to a goalless draw. Earlier it beat Malaysia 1-0 and lost 4-2 to world’s 40th ranked and 8 time World Cup 8 qualifier Paraguay. Once among the Asia top 10, Jordan is now 15th in the continent but still lags behind relatively uncompetitive Asian teams.

During summer Jordan played at the 9th West Asian Championship which was won by Bahrain. It was the fourth time for Jordan in the final after 2002, 2008 and 2014.  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 they lost to Japan in the quarter-finals 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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