India vs Jordan: Know your opponent - Jordan's Coach, Style of Play, Key Players, Predicted XI, Recent results
The historic match between the Indian National football team and Jordan is only a few days away but there's nothing much known (at least for the folks in the subcontinent) about the middle-eastern side.
The game is slated to take place at the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman. It will be live on Star Sports Network and Hotstar at 9.30 pm IST.
This is the second friendly that India will play in the lead up to the 2019 Asian Cup. They drew goalless with Marcelo Lippi's China and are going into this match high on confidence.
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But India will be handicapped without their star striker Sunil Chhetri, who is ruled out due to an ankle injury that he sustained during an ISL match. As a result, 18-year-old youngster Komal Thatal, who plays for ATK in the ISL and also represented India at the U-17 FIFA World Cup, has been called to the Senior National team camp to train with the rest of the team.
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The Blue Tigers last played a friendly encounter on 13 October 2018 -- against China -- and were lucky to walk away with a draw.
While that's about everything there is to know about the Indian team, how much do we actually know about India's opponents -- Jordan?
While India were playing China, Al-Nashama (meaning 'The Brave Gentlemen'), as they are nicknamed, locked horns with World Cup finalists Croatia. They put up a strong performance against the higher-ranked opponents but ended up losing the game by a narrow 1-2 margin.
Indian football fans can expect some fireworks in the coming match as Jordan has a formidable unit.
Their FIFA ranking of 112 is marginally lower than that of India's (97) so it promises to be a nail-biting fixture. Al-Nashama achieved their highest ranking of 37 from August-September 2004.
Jordan's Coach: Vital Borkelmans
Jordan is a team in which, for some reason, coaches do not stick around for long. This has been the trend from the past few years and the national team has witnessed many coaches come and go. Ray Wilkins, Ahmed Abdel-Qader, Paul Put, Abdullah Abu Zema, Harry Redknapp, Abdullah Mesfer all have had brief stints as the Head Coach of Jordan from 2015 to October 2017. Jamal Abu-Abed took over the side in October 2017 and remained in charge until September 2018.
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Former Belgian footballer Vital Borkelmans has been at the helm of things since September of this year. The 55-year-old had a playing career spanning 25 years and despite being a defender, he had 46 goals in an overall 628 appearances for the various clubs he played at. He also represented the national team during the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.
The Maaseik-born coach's first assignment was with KFC Evergem Center in 2006. He then moved on to manage FCV Dender EH, a 2nd division Belgian club, in 2010 but was soon fired after a solitary season when the club was relegated to the third division.
Borkelmans then took up the role of the Assistant Manager of the Belgium national team and worked along with head coach Marc Wilmots for 4 years. His stint with the Jordan national team started on May 8, 2018, as the assistant coach but he later took over as the Head Coach after the departure of Jamal Abu-Abed.
Next slide: Style of play, Predicted XI and players to look out for