Jordan hosts AFC U-19 qualifiers starting Friday
AMMAN, Oct 04, 2013 (Menafn - Jordan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The men's U-19 team is all set as Group B Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Championship 2014 qualifiers kick off Friday in Amman.
Afghanistan plays the Maldives in the opening match Friday. Jordan's first match will be against the Maldives on Sunday before playing Afghanistan October 8, Yemen October 10 and the UAE October 12.
The nine group winners, five from the West Zone and four from the East, will book a slot to the October 2014 finals alongside the six best second-placed teams and host Myanmar. The top-four sides of the 2014 AFC U-19 Championship will book a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup set for New Zealand in 2015.
Qatar, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and China are also hosting the qualifiers involving 40 countries across the continent. South Korea, who beat Iraq in the 2012 final, has won the competition a record 12 times since it started in 1959.
"We will be playing four matches back-to back. We need to be focused and not waste any chances," head coach Bibert Kaghado was quoted by the Jordan Football Association website.
"We are optimistic and the squad is positive. The last two friendlies boosted our morale and demonstrated a cohesive line-up," coach Badran Al Shaqran added.
The team hosted Sri Lanka in two friendlies, winning 4-0 and 3-2. The team lately lost to Cyprus 3-0 and 2-0. They also lost to Tunisia 1-0 and held Tunisian youth champs Tarraji 2-2 after Tunisia scored two wins 4-1 and 4-2 in Amman. Jordan also hosted a four-nation friendly but lost all matches -- to Saudi Arabia 3-0, Oman 2-1 and Iraq 2-0 -- and finished last as Iraq won the event, followed by Saudi and Oman.
The Kingdom reached the AFC U-19 Championship finals four times so far. In 2006, the team made Asian and world headlines and achieved the country's biggest sporting success when they qualified to the 2007 FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada after reaching the semis and finishing fourth at the championship.
This week, Jordan's girls U-16 squad was eliminated from the AFC finals in Nanjing, China.
Jordan qualified to the finals for the first time, after the Kingdom topped Group A qualifiers, beating Palestine 9-0 and Bahrain 4-0.
At the finals, Jordan played in Group B losing 6-0 to North Korea and 2-1 to Taiwan. The top team from each group moved on to the semis and the three top teams will advance to the U-16 World Cup in Costa Rica.
Meanwhile, the U-16 boys team was also eliminated from the AFC U-16 Cup 2014 qualifiers hosted in Amman after finishing last in Group D. Jordan lost 2-1 to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and were held 4-4 with Syria.
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