Kuala Lumpur: Asia’s hopefuls moved a step closer to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 following the conclusion of the Asian Qualifiers Round 2 official draw at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Thursday.
Divided into four pots according to their seedings, the 12 teams were drawn into three groups with only two spots available at Paris 2024.
Group A hosts Australia were drawn with Chinese Taipei, Philippines and Islamic Republic of Iran.
AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™ winners China PR are the top seeds and Group B hosts with Korea Republic, Thailand and DPR Korea their challengers.
Group C will see Japan, Vietnam, hosts Uzbekistan and India battling to advance to the next stage of the Qualifiers.
Round 2, scheduled for October 23 to November 1, will see four teams – the three group winners and the best-ranked runners-up – progress to Round 3 to play two pairs of home and away matches, slated for February 24 and 28, 2024, with the eventual winners taking the two spots reserved for Asia in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024.
The 2020 Olympic edition in Tokyo saw hosts Japan exit the quarter-final stage against Sweden, while Australia finished fourth after losing a close bronze medal encounter to the USA.
China PR won the silver medal in Atlanta 1996 with Japan following suit in London 2012.
Group A: Australia (H), Chinese Taipei, Philippines, IR Iran
Group B: China PR (H), Korea Republic, Thailand, DPR Korea
Group C: Japan, Vietnam, Uzbekistan (H), India