Jordan joins Asian teams in the 14-nation race with the aim to qualify to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Women’s Championship in 2017.
The national team left for Nanjing, China on Sunday to play Group A qualifiers in which Jordan will face the Northern Mariana Islands on November 4 and Australia on November 6. The top team from each group moves to the championship in 2017.
The top four teams in the 2015 edition of the AFC U-19 Championship — champions Japan, North Korea, South Korea and China — received a direct qualification to the tournament leaving the 14 teams above to battle it out in the qualifiers. The winner from each group (total four teams) will qualify to the finals (eight teams in total).
The participating nations are:
Group A: Australia, Jordan and Northern Mariana Islands.
Group B: Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Tajikistan.
Group C: Thailand, Myanmar, Palestine and Kyrgyzstan.
Group D: Iran, Vietnam and India.
This year, the U-16 women’s national football team failed to advance past Group A qualifiers for the 2017 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship. They scored their only win over Guam and lost to Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.
Jordan’s squad had a tough task with the line-up missing players who were on the recently concluded U-17 Women’s World Cup line-up. Jordan was eliminated from the first round losing 5-0 to New Zealand, 4-1 to Mexico and 6-0 to Spain in the Kingdom’s inaugural appearance in the U-17 World Cup, and also Jordan’s first appearance at any level at a FIFA World Cup.
For the past decade, Jordan has been competing in all women’s age divisions in the Asian zone. In 2014, Jordan was eliminated from Group A qualifiers for the 2015 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship after qualifying as the only Arab team in 2007. The U-16 girls’ team also failed to qualify to the 2015 AFC U-16 Women’s Championship after qualifying in 2013. In 2015, the women’s national team also exited the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament with a winless record.
By Aline Bannayan
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