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Kingdom’s U-23 football team gets boost from camp

By Aline Bannayan - Mar 30,2017 - Last updated at Mar 30,2017

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-23 squad concluded a successful training camp and eight nation tournament in Dubai, as part of preparations for qualifiers for the 3rd Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in 2018.

Jordan finished third after it beat Singapore 2-0, held China 0-0, lost 1-0 to the UAE before beating Malaysia 4-0. 

Head coach Iain Brunskill expressed his satisfaction with the overall performance. “To finish with a deserved 4-0 victory in the last game and get the third place in the tournament was a reward for the hard work that we have put together, as players and staff,” he was quoted as saying on the Jordan Football Association website.

Goalkeeper Obaida Zoubi, only conceded one goal in four games and was named the goalkeeper of the tournament, while Khaled Dardour was named the best goalscorer with three goals from four matches.

The AFC U-23 qualifiers, set to kick off from July 19-23, will see Jordan play in Group E along with Tajikistan, Bangladesh and host Palestine. The qualifiers will include 40 teams playing in 10 groups with the top team from each group, in addition to the top five second-placed teams will move to the championships finals. 

In 2016, Jordan was eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship in Qatar and failed to make it to the top four and a possible Olympic slot with the continent’s top three advancing to the Olympic Games football tournament in Rio de Janeiro later won by Brazil.

In the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in 2014 (renamed the AFC U-23 Championship), Jordan took third place when it beat South Korea while Iraq won the title after defeating Saudi Arabia.

In 2015, Jordan’s U23 squad was eliminated from the 1st West Asian U-23 Championship and in 2014 the line-up represented Jordan at the Asian Games where it made to the quarter-finals.

The Kingdom’s younger squads are also training for their respective Asian qualifiers. The U-19 team, which qualified to the Asian Championship four times and previously reached the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007, was last eliminated from the qualifying rounds of the 2016 vhampionship. Jordan finished fourth in 2006, but exited the group stages in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2014 Championship as well. 

 

Similarly, the U-16 team is now preparing for their Asian qualifiers. In 2015, the U-16 squad failed to advance to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship.

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