(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
AMMAN — Jordan plays Syria on Friday in a friendly tournament that will also group the national teams of Iraq and Oman as Jordan starts its agenda in preparation for the 2023 Asian Cup.
After an early exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the focus of head coach Adnan Hamad is on improving the team's competitive form, its ranking on the world scene and reaching the quarters of the Asian Cup where Jordan has qualified five times since first taking part in qualifiers in 1972. The highlight was at the 13th Asian Cup in 2004, when it lost to Japan in the quarterfinals and jumped to the best ever FIFA Ranking of 37th. They also reached the Asian Cup in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Hamad recalled 10 pros playing abroad to join the squad that has underwent changes hoping for overall competitive readiness for the long term and before they host the Spanish national team on November 17 on the latter's last stop before they head to the World Cup in Qatar.
“We have been steadily improving and following a set plan for the Asian Cup. We have also improved in FIFA Rankings,” Hamad told the media after practice, underlining that the team was making steady progress and had jumped nine spots during the past few months to 86th lately.“The two friendly matches will help us finalise the lineup, which has undergone changes ahead of our friendly against a big team like Spain and further improve our world ranking,” he added.
Hamad is trying to engage players from younger national teams to include a mix of young blood and experience in the lineup. Players were recalled from the U-23 team who won the West Asian championship but were eliminated from Round 1 at the 5th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in their fifth time at the event.
Earlier this week, Jordan was one of nine nations securing qualification to the AFC U-20 Asian Cup which will be held in Uzbekistan in 2023. The U-17 national team will similarly host their Group A qualifiers for the U-17 Asian Cup in Amman next month. Jordan will play alongside Japan, Syria, Philippines, and Turkmenistan as 44 nations will contest qualifiers in 10 groups with the top team in each group and five second place teams moving to the finals in Bahrain in 2023.
The Jordan Professional League is now on break before restarting Week 8 on September 29 while the Jordan Cup Round of 16 was played with eight teams making it to the quarters. Ramtha eliminated Salt 3-1, Faisali beat Sahab 3-0, Hussein ousted Arabi 3-1, Wihdat beat Sarhan 4-0, Aqaba beat Ittihad Ramtha 1-0 while Mugheer Sarhan, Amman FC and Jazira eliminated Sarih, Baqa'a and Shabab Urdun on penalties.
Legal Disclaimer: MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.