Sunday, June 15, 2008
Jordan Out Again, See You in Brazil 2014
Jordan started participating in World Cup qualifications for the 1986 Mundial.
We started with a great victory over Qatar , 1-0: a goal coming from Issam al-Talli from a corner kick. All what I remember from that is my uncle being really excited about it and seeing that goal a zillion times on Al-Majallah al-Riyadiyyeh every Friday afternoon.
This victory sent a sense of optimism, but we lost the next 3 games and since then we've never been even close to qualifying.
In 1990, we were easily crushed by Iraq and Qatar, and the only team we were able to defeat was Oman, during a time when Oman was defeatable.
In 1994 we were extremely optimistic after scoring big in friendlies (5-1-4), to only be crushed by Iraq and China this time. We came 4th in a group of 5. Yemen, yes Yemen, came ahead of us.
In 1998, we were again relegated from the first round after we weren't able to top UAE or Bahrain.
In 2002, we lost twice to Turkimenstan including one loss at home. Enough said.
In 2006, we started huge with a victory over Iran in Tehran, only to succumb later to the Iranians in Amman and Qataris in Doha.
In 2010, we brought the great coach, prepared well, only to qualify past Kyrgyzstan with penalty kicks and a prayer. Then we lost home to North and South Korea, and today we lost again to North Korea 2-0 and were officially out of the qualifications.
I wonder what else do we have to do for 2014. It's not like we were close and lost in the final decisive game. No, we were never close. In the past 24 years, We were ALWAYS eliminated in the preliminary round, the one preceding the final qualifications round.
I'm just hoping that for 2014 we will get close to the final celebration, that when those million or more of Jordanians start watching the games on TV, and see some Asian team playing there (and probably being smashed), we would say to ourselves , "We were too close to being that team in the Mundial".