Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round promises to be a thrilling affair with the 24 teams learning their opponents on Thursday. The draw, held virtually in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, saw the teams drawn into six groups.
The six group winners and five best second-placed teams will join hosts China PR, Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea Republic, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and United Arab Emirates and Vietnam in the Finals.
Kuwait, the only former winners in the draw, will host Group A with Jordan, Indonesia and Nepal for company.
Mongolia, who have never qualified for the AFC Asian Cup™ will host Palestine, Philippines and Yemen in Group B.
Uzbekistan, who have qualified for every edition of the AFC Asian Cup™ since 1996, will be looking to continue their run when they host Group C with Thailand, Maldives and Sri Lanka their opponents.
India, the Group D hosts, will have Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia to contend with in their bid to qualify for a second successive AFC Asian Cup.
Group E hosts Malaysia, seeking to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup™ Finals for the first time since co-hosting the continental showpiece in 2007, will have to navigate past Bahrain, Turkmenistan and Bangladesh.
Kyrgyz Republic, who created history by qualifying for their inaugural AFC Asian Cup in 2019, will host Group F with Tajikistan, Myanmar and Singapore.
The AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round will be held across three Matchdays on June 8, 11 and 14, 2022, while the AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ kicks off on June 16, 2023.
AFC Asian Cup China 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round
Group A: Jordan, Kuwait (H), Indonesia, Nepal
Group B: Palestine, Philippines, Yemen, Mongolia (H)
Group C: Uzbekistan (H), Thailand, Maldives, Sri Lanka
Group D: India (H), Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Cambodia
Group E: Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Malaysia (H), Bangladesh
Group F: Kyrgyz Republic (H), Tajikistan, Myanmar, Singapore
Fixtures: Indian Men’s National Team
June 8: India vs Cambodia
June 11: Afghanistan vs India
June 14: India vs Hong Kong
Cambodia join India in Group D.
Last time, India faced them in 2017, Blue Tigers won 3-2 away.
Cumulative H2H record: India 3, Cambodia 1, Draws 0
Familiar foes as Afghanistan will also play in Kolkata.
Last meeting: 1-1 draw on June 15, 2021
Cumulative H2H record: India 6, Afghanistan 1, Draws 3
Hong Kong round off Group D.
Last meeting: 1-0 win to Hong Kong in 2010.
Cumulative H2H record: India 7, Hong Kong 4, Draws 4
According to Fifa men's rankings (Doesn't necessarily mean anything):
India – World (104), Asia (19)
Hong Kong – World (148), Asia (26)
Afghanistan – World (150), Asia (27)
Cambodia – World (171), Asia (36)