Focus on Jordan
Kuala Lumpur: With the draw for the Women's Asian Cup 2018 Jordan on December 9, the-AFC.com starts the countdown by profiling hosts Jordan, who are set to create history next April.
Head coach: Michael Dickey (USA) Current FIFA ranking: 50 AFC Women’s Asian Cup appearances: 2014 Best finish: Group stage (2014)
Current FIFA ranking: 50
AFC Women’s Asian Cup appearances: 2014
Best finish: Group stage (2014)
Whatever the result in next April’s tournament, Jordan will make history by becoming the first West Asian nation to host the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, but they are also aiming to become the first team from the region to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Jordanians have been one of Asia’s busiest women’s national teams in 2017, featuring in no less than 14 ‘A’ internationals, in addition to friendlies against club teams from the United States and France.
Despite qualifying automatically as hosts, Jordan participated in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers in Tajikistan where they racked up 37 goals on their way to five consecutive wins and top spot in Group A.
Striker Maysa Jbarah and captain Stephanie Al-Naber combined for 22 goals in those five matches, with Jbarah’s 13 goals the most of any player on the road to Jordan 2018.
Following the qualifying tournament, Jordan hired experienced American coach Michael Dickey, and earned their first international win on European soil when they beat Latvia in September.
Such results underline Jordan’s status as a growing force in the women’s game. Now - with the experience of the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup under their belt, and a nation of passionate fans cheering them on – they appear ready to take the next step.
Key player: Stephanie Al-Naber
Over the last decade Stephanie Al-Naber (pictured above, right) has been ever-present for Jordan’s major achievements in the women’s game.
In addition to helping Jordan to three WAFF Women’s Championship titles, Al-Naber scored in the crucial win over Uzbekistan which secured qualification for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, then found the back of the net against Australia in the tournament proper.
But 2018 presents the highlight of the 29-year-old midfield star’s career, as she leads her country in Asia’s flagship women’s tournament on home soil for the first time.
If her from in the qualifying tournament, where she scored nine goals in five matches from midfield, can be used as a guide, the face of Jordanian women’s football will soon be recognised throughout Asia and beyond.
Jordan qualified automatically as AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 hosts, but still participated in qualifying Group A in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
|UNITED ARAB EMIRATES||5||2||1||2||5||11||-6||7|
Jordan - ‘A’ internationals in 2017
|Bahrain||6-0||WAC Qualifiers||Dushanbe, Tajikistan||03/04/2017|
|UAE||6-0||WAC Qualifiers||Dushanbe, Tajikistan||05/04/2017|
|Iraq||10-0||WAC Qualifiers||Dushanbe, Tajikistan||07/04/2017|
|Tajikistan||10-2||WAC Qualifiers||Dushanbe, Tajikistan||10/04/2017|
|Philippines||5-1||WAC Qualifiers||Dushanbe, Tajikistan||12/04/2017|