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Jordan's Borkelmans sets sight on new targets


Taipei: With his principal objective achieved, Vital Borkelmans was delighted as he headed back to Jordan with his players having kicked off their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers Group B campaign with victory over Chinese Taipei.

Goals in the first half from Baha Faisal and Ahmed Sameer gave Borkelmans’ side enough of a cushion to ensure they picked up the three points, despite a late goal from Wen Chih-hao, allowing the Belgian to shift his focus to his side’s upcoming games.

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“We’re taking the three points back to Jordan and for me, for my team, for my country and also for my big boss, Prince Ali bin Hussein, it is very important that we have these three points,” said Borkelmans.

“Now we go into our next games, first against Paraguay next week in a friendly game, and then we have three tough games in our own country. This gives a lot of confidence for my players. I’m happy to take the three points, it’s good.”

Jordan’s next qualifier is against Kuwait, who also won on Thursday to share top spot in the early Group B standings, on October 10 in the first of a run of three straight games in Amman that also sees Nepal and Australia visit the West Asian nation.

Bourkelmans’ team were dominant in the first half against Chinese Taipei and could have added to their tally before a more even second half in which the hosts impressed on a rain-sodden pitch that made conditions difficult for both sets of players.

Wen Chih-hao pulled one back for the hosts with nine minutes remaining, but it was the performance of goalkeeper Pan Wen-chieh that stood out for Louis Lancaster’s side, with the 27-year-old making a string of top class saves to keep his team in the game until the final whistle.

“I was coming to Taipei to take the three points and we did it,” said Borkelmans. “Also the performance in the first half was clear and if it was 3-0 or 4-0 nobody can talk. I said to the players that I didn’t like how they played at the end of the first half, with their easy passing and they created some small chances."

“My players made some good pressing. I have respect for each team but the quality is not at a high level, and also for my team. But we must play on the weakness of the other team, and I can say my team did this very well.

“I also saw today a great goalkeeper, from Chinese Taipei. I give a great compliment to this guy and we can see he was also very happy that he saved these shots.”

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