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AFC Asia Cup 2023 Draw Announced: India to face Australia, Uzbekistan, and Syria in group stage

The Indian national team has made it to the AFC Asia Cup 2023. And are drawn with the likes of Australia, Uzbekistan, and Syria in Group B of the competition.

It was in Doha that the draw for the competition took place on the 11th of May 2023. The tournament however is all set to be played in the January month of 2024.

India drawn in group B of AFC Asia Cup 2023

Originally the tournament was supposed to take place in 2023 in China. But because of the problems caused by Covid19 and China’s zero Covid policy, the tournament was shifted out.

By the looks of it, the draw appears to be too much for India to take. Considering the raw hot form in front of goal that Australia and Uzbekistan has shown in recent times.

India on the other hand are yet to beat even Syria. So, one can tell that it will not be easy for the Blue Tigers to survive in the tournament. And with the top two teams qualifying out of the group stages, they have their work cut out.

The groups

The 24 teams in the tournament are divided into the following six groups are:

Group A: Qatar, China, Tajikistan, Lebanon

Group B: Australia, Uzbekistan, Syria, India

Group C: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Palestine

Group D: Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Vietnam

Group E: South Korea, Malaysia, Jordan, Bahrain

Group F: Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyz Republic, Oman

Placed in pot 4 (along with debutants Tajikistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia), India were the last to be picked in the group.

Some tough challenege for India in AFC Asia Cup 2023

The biggest threat and one of the favorites in the competition are Australia. They are ranked 29th in the overall FIFA Ranking and are coming off a great World Cup in Qatar. There they were ousted by the Champion Side Argentina in the RO 16.

In their last campaign of Asia Cup 2019, they ere able to finish second in group stages and eventually were knocked out by UAE.

India last played them in 2011 and were thrashed 4-0 courtesy to a brace by Tim Cahill. They will be looking to overturn the tide this time around.

Uzbekistan on the other hand is ranked 74th in FIFA rankings. They did not have the best of Asia Cup 2019 as they were knocked out by Australia in pre-quarters. But they have certainly had great time out against India when the two teams met last time out in 2011.

Syria is ranked 90th on the rankings. They did not have the best of times in the 2019 edition of the tournament and finished last in the group. However, India has not beaten them ever. The last meeting between the two in 2019 ended in a 1-1 draw.

How did India qualify for the AFC Asia Cup 2023?

India did not have best of qualification rounds in the preparation for the main tournament. They were not able to make it directly to the tournament and had to make the most in the second stage.

They defeated Hong Kong on the final day of the tournament while Palestine beat Philippines to make way for the Indian team. India then went on to beat Afghanistan and Cambodia in next round to book themselves a berth in AFC Asia Cup 2023.

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