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Jordan qualifies to U-16 Asian Championship

By Aline Bannayan - Sep 25,2017 - Last updated at Sep 25,2017

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-16 team qualified to the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship after topping Group A qualifiers which ended in Riyadh late Sunday.

Jordan beat Bahrain 3-2 in their final match to lead the group after it was held 0-0 by Uzbekistan, beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 and Sri Lanka 7-0.

Saudi Arabia, which beat Uzbekistan 1-0, came in second after it also upstaged Sri Lanka 10-0. Uzbekistan finished third after it defeated Bahrain 1-0 and Sri Lanka 6-0 and Bahrain which beat Sri Lanka 6-0 came in fourth.

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), Japan (Group J).  Oman, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia moved as second placed top four teams while Group H is still to be decided.

Organised by the Asian Football Confederation (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 each. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship 

Jordan’s U-19 team will play AFC U-19 Championship Group E qualifiers alongside Syria, Palestine and hosts 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 Championship.

The U-23 team that qualified to the 3rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in 2018 also have the qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ahead.

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. In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship and lost a possible Olympic slot.  In 2014, Jordan’s U-23 squad made to the quarter-finals of the Asian Games.

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