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Jordan’s U-23 football team plays Thailand, U-19 leaves for the UAE

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 04,2017 - Last updated at Oct 04,2017

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-23 football team will play Thailand in two away friendlies this week, which come amid a training camp in Bangkok running until October 10.

Jordan is set to meet the hosts on Thursday before repeating the encounter on October 8 as the squad prepares for the 3rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in 2018 as well as the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Kingdom advanced to the AFC U-23 Championship after last month’s qualifiers in which it finished second behind Palestine from Group E, Oman moved from Group A, Iraq and Saudi from Group B, Qatar and Syria from Group C, Uzbekistan from Group D, Australia form Group F, North Korea from Group G, Malaysia and Thailand from Group H, South Korea and Vietnam from Group I and China and Japan from Group J.

In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship and failed to make it to the top four and a possible Olympic slot as the continent’s top three advanced to the Rio Games football tournament. 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-23 squad played the 1st West Asian U-23 Championship in 2015, and in 2014 the line-up represented the Kingdom at the Asian Games where it made to the quarter-finals.

Similarly, Jordan’s U-19 team will leave for the UAE on Thursday to play two friendlies in Dubai this week in the final phase of preparation for the AFC U-19 Championship Group E qualifiers alongside Syria, Palestine and the host Iran set from October 31 to November 8. 

The Kingdom previously qualified to the Asian Championship four times and reached the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007. Jordan finished fourth in 2006, but exited the first round in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2014 and 2016 championships. 

Earlier last month, Jordan’s U-16 team qualified to the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship last month after topping Group A qualifiers. Jordan joined group winners Tajikistan (Group B), Iran (Group C), Iraq (Group D), Yemen (Group E), North Korea (Group F), Indonesia (Group G), Australia (Group I), South Korea (Group H), Japan (Group J). Oman, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia moved as second placed top four teams.

 

Organised 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. Since the event kicked off in 1995, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia and Oman have each won the title twice. Qatar, Iran, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Iraq won once. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship.

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