Jordan’s World Cup dream lives on
Jordan’s win over Uzbekistan has earned them a play-off to gain entry into the world cup, to be held in Brazil in 2014.
The play of will be against the fifth ranked team from South America, and will take place on 13/14 November 2013 in Jordan and the following week a return leg in South America.
This surely in its entirety is a David versus Goliath affair.
But such games are a fantasy for the neutrals like me, waiting for a fairy tale.
I guess the question is who will be Jordan’s opponents?
Let us quickly look at the suspects.
A run through the South American qualifiers see, that Ecuador and Uruguay are both on 22 points (fourth place).
Venezuela is in sixth position, having played one more game and on 19 points.
They have one game to play against Paraguay at home.
You would assume that they might nick in the three points here and go on to 22 points.
However their chances look slim.
Both Ecuador and Uruguay play in the upcoming round and this should help in clearing the cloud on who could possibly occupy fourth and fifth spot.
The final round of games see Ecuador take on Chile away in Chile which will be a difficult game for Ecuador.
Uruguay will take on Argentina at home and seeing Argentina have qualified, how much will Argentina take into the match only time will tell.
So with the fixtures analysed it can only be concluded that the Ecuador versus Uruguay game will play the biggest part in who takes the fourth Spot and who goes for the qualifier play offs.
When I see Jordan’s playoff instantly the New Zealand versus Bahrain game came to mind, and how on that soggy day in Wellington, the All Whites beat Bahrain to qualify for the World Cup 2010.
However, in Jordan’s case it could possibly be Ecuador versus Uruguay and that would be a daunting task for any team in the world.
Jordan’s away record has not been very good. They have accrued four away losses to Australia, Iraq, Oman and Japan but their home record has been impressive.
Their biggest victims include, Japan who lost 2-1 and same goes for Australia.
And it’s ironic those these two teams Japan and Australia were defeated by Brazil recently and by some margin if you really wanted to gauge any Asian teams playing a top dog from South America, but you also have to argue that both Ecuador versus Uruguay are not on the same page as Brazil so Jordan can take some solace from that.
Jordan have never played Uruguay, while Jordan beat Ecuador in Tripoli 3-0 in a friendly in 2004. However, that is nearly a decade ago.
For Jordan the home game should set the platform for the away leg, which either it be Ecuador versus Uruguay will be massive. Based on past games, it’s always going to be difficult to play in South America.
The home game for Jordan will be key. A win or draw even will give them a chance to go to South America and get an away goal even draw and get to penalties.
However if they are overrun at home then it would be very difficult.
There is no hiding the fact that Uruguay and Ecuador are way ahead in experience having played in the FIFA World Cup. They have players playing in Europe and South America’s Copa Libertadores, while Jordan’s current squad ply their trade in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Either way, Jordan must be ready for an almighty battle, a battle that will stay in the minds of supporters for a long time.