'We Hope To Achieve Our Best Result': Jordan Ready For Australia Challenge

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) #AFC U23 ASIAN CUP The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Jordan head coach Abdallah Abu Zema is hoping to build on his nation's run to the final of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 as the country pursues a first-ever Olympic Games qualification when the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 kicks off today.

The Jordanians begin their campaign for one of the three guaranteed berths in Paris in Group A against Australia at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium with the achievements of the senior team still fresh in their memories.

“We are definitely proud as Jordanian athletes with the achievements of the senior national team in the Asian Cup, the performance of our team was very strong,” said Abu Zema.

“This gives us great motivation, it pumps up our confidence, our ability to make it to the Olympic Games. We hope to achieve our best result in qualifying for the Olympics.”

Jordan reached the final of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time at the turn of the year, defeating Iraq, Tajikistan and Korea Republic in the knockout rounds before succumbing to hosts Qatar in the decider.

Jordan players during a training session.

“It's normal for what was achieved by the Jordan team that this achievement raises expectations among Jordanian fans,” said Abu Zema, whose team has also been drawn to face Qatar and Indonesia.

“However, we think this is going to positively affect our team. We have gained trust and support from the senior national team.”

Jordan have never qualified for the Olympic Games while Australia will be looking for a third ticket to the Finals since joining the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.

The Olyroos featured in the most recent edition of the competition in Tokyo under Graham Arnold and current head coach Tony Vidmar acknowledged the impact of qualification both in itself and for the future development of the senior national team.

“We always understand the importance of an Olympic tournament,” said the former defender.

“The country is mad on the Olympic sports, so the football tournament has significant importance for, not only the country, but also the players individually.

“Going to a tournament like that increases the opportunities and exposure to top level football, which is important for our senior national team for the future.”

“Our preparation has been good for the last 12 months. We have a good collective squad together and we know that Qatar, Jordan and Indonesia have had excellent preparation leading into the tournament, so we know that the games will be excellent to participate in and we know that each game will be tough and well contested.”


The Peninsula

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