Ambitious Jordan eye World Cup breakthrough

Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:21am EST
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By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) - Injuries, suspensions, drawn away in the second leg and up against one of the deadliest strike duos in international football - Jordan have little to be optimistic about ahead of their 'David v Goliath' World Cup playoff against Uruguay.

The ambitious West Asians are still plotting one more upset on their dream qualifying run that started against Nepal and they hope will end with a maiden World Cup finals appearance.

Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, the Jordanian FA head and FIFA vice-president, said the team, ranked 70th by the world governing body, was facing a formidable task against the South Americans.

"We have nothing to lose," he told Reuters via telephone ahead of the first leg in Amman on Wednesday.

"We are up against Uruguay, one of the top 10 in the world. In terms of our positions, it is a bit of a David v Goliath event."

Jordan's tough task of overcoming a star-studded Uruguay side ranked sixth by FIFA and featuring feared strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani is not made any easier by a series of injuries and suspensions.

"We have our key players who will not be playing, some through injury and others through cards but again you never know, anything can be done in football. We are very optimistic about it," Prince Ali said.

"We did ask FIFA as this was a new playoff, an intercontinental playoff, but they said 'no the cards remain' (from the previous round) which is fine. So our goalkeeper is out, our team captain is out and a couple of other players who are key."   Continued...

Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein (C) attends Jordan's 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Uzbekistan at King Abdullah stadium in Amman September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed