Asian Cup: Azkals grouped with South Korea, China, Kyrgyz Republic
06 May, 2018, 00:24 | Author: Mable Gonzales
India has been clubbed with United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Bahrain for the AFC Asia Cup 2019 tournament.
The War Elephants' quest to reach the knockout round of Asia's premier worldwide competition - which kicks off on January 5, 2019 - will see them face off against UAE, India and Bahrain.
The tough draw came two days after the Azkals were placed in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup alongside defending champion Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and victor of the qualification round playoff between Timor Leste and Brunei. Group D features Iran, Iraq, Vietnam and Yemen while South Korea take on China, Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines in Group C.
National team head coach Stephen Constantine was also present on the occasion.
This is only the fourth time India will participate in the Asian Cup.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar - who are now locked in a major diplomatic dispute - have been drawn in Group E with Lebanon and North Korea.
Group F has Japan as the top side along with Uzbekistan, Oman and Turkmenistan.
The AFC President, who made the announcement during the final draw said: "Tonight, we celebrate a new chapter in the glorious history of the Asian Cup here in the UAE".
The continental championship will be held across eight stadia in four cities in the UAE - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Al Ain - January 5 to February 1 in 2019. In the past (2011), we had managed a draw (2-2) against UAE.
Continent powerhouses and 2015 finalists Korea Republic, who are on the hunt for their first title since 1960, were drawn in Group C with two-time runners-up China PR as well as two debutants in the UAE 2019 - Kyrgyz Republic and Philippines.
"The AFC Asian Cup gives us the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best of Asia and play against players who many of whom play in many a Premier League across Europe, and other parts of the world".
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