Jordan coach confident ahead of Uruguay clash
12 November 2013, 20:10
Amman - Jordan coach Hossam Hassan insisted Tuesday his team felt no fear on the eve of the opening leg of their World Cup play-off against Uruguay.
The Middle-Eastern state are looking to make history by reaching the World Cup finals for the first time and enter Wednesday's tie as underdogs.
"I don't even fear Brazil. Those who aspire to the World Cup should be strong enough and do their utmost," said former Egyptian striker Hassan, who qualified for the 1990 World Cup with his country.
Hassan said he was confident in the ability of his players who won a penalty shoot-out in September's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) play-off with Uzbekistan after finishing third in the fourth round of qualifying.
"We have a group of players that I trust. I urge them to seize this historic moment, do their best, act confidently and never give up. I have learned from my experience that nothing is impossible in football," he said.
FIFA Vice-President Prince Ali bin al-Hussein echoed similar views, but acknowledged that the game will be "very difficult."
"The match will be very difficult but the 'Nashama' will play with ambition to win. They not only represent Jordan but all Arab teams in Asia," Prine Ali told Qatar's Al-Kass channel.
The South Americans are no strangers to the World Cup, having won the tournament twice, in 1930 and 1950. At the last event in South Africa in 2010, they finished a creditable fourth after losing to the Netherlands 3-2 in the semi-finals.
Jordan have been hit by suspensions with star goalkeeper Amer Shafie sitting out, while Mohamed Dmeiri and Anas Bani Yasin are on the injury list.
They will also be without midfielder and captain Amer Deeb, who has been surprisingly been overlooked by the coach.
Although the Jordanians are well aware the odds will be stacked heavily against them it has not stopped them getting into a celebratory mood and a World Cup frenzy.
High demand for tickets has opened a black market, which security services have tried in vein to control.
Tickets last week were being sold for between $5 and $8, but prices have rocketed on the black market.
Amid tightened security, Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein has also instructed authorities to install television screens in youth centres and other places across the country to help fans watch the game.