Jordan vs Nepal – LIVE Reddit Soccer 08/06/2022
The national football team plays 168th ranked Nepal in its first qualifier for the 2023 Asian Cup kicking off in Kuwait on Wednesday. Jordan is in a relatively easy Group A, and the team should ideally have no trouble making it through the qualifiers. However, the squad’s latest performances have not been very convincing. Currently ranked 91st in FIFA’s latest rankings, Jordan kicks off its Group A qualifiers playing Nepal, before facing 159th ranked Indonesia on June 11 and 146th ranked hosts Kuwait on June 14. The top team in addition to the top five second- placed teams will move on to the finals which will be held in 2023.
The Kingdom’s head coach Adnan Hamad underlined in Tuesday’s press conference that “the target aim was to return the squad to competitive form and be among the continent’s best teams”. Hamad, who took over after the dismissal of Belgian Vital Borkelmans following the early exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers needs to guide Jordan through the stage of qualifying to get to the 2023 Asian Cup. Jordan has reached the tournament four 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 quarter-finals and jumped to the best ever FIFA Ranking of 37th. Jordan also reached the Asian Cup in 2011 and 2015 and 2019.
On the world scene, the team was on the verge of qualifying to the 2014 World Cup for the first time and advanced to play then World’s 6th ranked Uruguay in an intercontinental qualifying tie. The World Cup qualifying Round 3 was the furthest Jordan reached in the past seven times since taking part in the 1986 qualifiers. On the other hand, Jordan’s younger squad, playing in Group B at the 5th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, lost to Australia 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon and failed to qualify to Round 2 as Iraq beat Kuwait 3-1. In earlier matches, Jordan beat Kuwait 1-0 after tying Iraq 1-1 . Australia beat Kuwait 2-0 and tied Iraq 1-1. It was the 5th time for Jordan in the AFC U23 Championship. In 2014 they finished third, in 2016 they reached the quarter-finals, in 2018 they were knocked out of Round 1, and in 2020 they reached the quarter-finals.
On the regional scene, Jordan won the title of the 2021 West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) U23 Championship in which they beat hosts Saudi Arabia in the final. In 2015, Jordan was eliminated in the group stages of the first edition of the WAFF U23 Championship won by Iran, before they moved to the Central Asian Football Association.
Two sides that are looking to reinstate their place amongst the continent’s elite lock horns in the opening game of Group A.
Ranked 146 and 159 respectively, Kuwait and Indonesia were once two of Asia’s recognised powerhouses, with the former winning the AFC Asian Cup in 1980 and the former representing the continent at the 1934 FIFA World Cup.
Both countries have missed out on the last edition of the competition, but they have faced each other in AFC Asian Cup qualifiers twice and as many times in the competition’s Finals.
In UAE 1996, Kuwait came from two goals down to draw Indonesia 2-2 in the group stage. They were pitted in the same group again four years later in Lebanon and a 0-0 draw was the outcome. Talisman Bader Al Mutawa netted both goals when the two teams last met in Kuwait in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 qualifiers, while the reverse fixture in Jakarta ended 1-1.
The lowest ranked side in the group, Nepal will test their ambitions of reaching the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in their history, but will have their work cut out for them as they face a Jordan side that has dominated the previous clashes between them with a 16-1 total score over four games.
A 9-0 win in Amman en route to reaching the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 was Jordan’s biggest-ever win in international games, while the reverse fixture saw Nepal score their only ever goal against Jordan and pick-up their only point in a 1-1 draw.
The two sides met in Group B of the previous round of the Asian Qualifiers with both legs ending 3-0 as Jordan finished third in the group with 14 points, one place above Nepal who collected six points to finish fourth.