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Jordan U-23 football team hosts Syria as U-16 team crashes out of Asian qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 23,2019 - Last updated at Sep 23,2019

AMMAN — Jordan missed the chance to qualify to the U-16 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship when it finished second in Group A qualifiers which were hosted in the capital as Tajikistan advance from the group.

The Kingdom had a relatively easy draw and scored easy wins over lowly Sri Lanka and Nepal in the opening two matches, but then was held 1-1 with Kuwait before losing 5-2 to Tajikistan as the latter qualified from Group A qualifiers.

Playing in two zones, 47 teams competed in 11 groups with the top team from each group and top four second placed teams advancing to the championship. 

They are Tajikistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, China, Australia and North Korea, Japan and South Korea. Uzbekistan, Oman, Yemen, Indonesia advanced from the best second placed teams.

Held once every two years, the competition serves as a qualifier for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the top four countries qualifying. Last year, Jordan bowed out of the Round 1 of the 2018 AFC U-16 Men’s Championship. 

The U-16 women’s squad was also eliminated from Round 1, Group A qualifiers for the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship

Meanwhile, the U-23 Olympic team hosts Syria on Tuesday in the first of two friendlies as the team prepare for the 4th AFC U-23 Championship which acts as a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Jordan topped Group E qualifiers to advance to the AFC Championship which will be played January 8-26 in Thailand.

The team returned from a training camp in Qatar where it faced the host losing 3-2 in the first match before winning the second 5-1. 

In 2018, the U-23 men’s team was knocked out of Round 1 of the 3rd AFC U-23 Championship. In 2016, they reached the quarter-finals and in 2014 they finished third. 

Earlier this year, the men’s national team was eliminated in the Round of 16 at the Asian Cup 2019 as Qatar won the title for the first time. 

The U-19 national team this week lost to Uzbekistan as it prepares for Group E qualifiers kicking off November 1 alongside host Bahrain, Bangladesh and Bhutan. 

Their qualifiers include 46 teams in 11 groups. The top team from each group and top four second placed teams will advance to the championship. 

During summer, the squad held a training camp in Turkey, and played Algeria twice in August before finishing third at the West Asian Championship in Palestine. 

The men’s U-19 national team was eliminated from Round 1 of the last AFC U-19 Championship as the semifinalists advanced to the FIFA U-19 World Cup. The women’s team was eliminated from Round 1 qualifiers for the AFC U-19 Championship. 

Jordan was hoping to advance in the Asian event after it failed to qualify to the championships in 2014 and 2016. It was the fifth time for Jordan at the championship with the best showing when they finished fourth in 2006 and advanced to the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. They exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012.

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