It's just another game, says Qatar coach after being drawn with Saudi

06 May, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • 2019 AFC Asian Cup draw at Dubai, LIVE updates: Who will India face in the group stages?

India are pitted in Group A at the AFC Asian Cup 2019 alongside hosts UAE, Bahrain and South-East Asian giants Thailand.

Hosts UAE were drawn in Group A and will play the opening match of the tournament against West Asian rivals Bahrain in Abu Dhabi on 5 January. Teams drawn together in the group will play each other once and the top two from each group will qualify to the Round of 16 along with the best four third-placed teams.

Yesterday's draw ceremony was conducted in Dubai in the presence of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and the entire football fraternity that also included the coaches of the teams featuring at the Jan 5-Feb 1 tournament.

This will be India's fourth appearance 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.

India will play 2 games in Abu Dhabi and one game will be played at Sharjah.

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The tournament's most successful side with four titles, Japan are in Group F and will face Uzbekistan, who have progressed past the group stage for the last four consecutive editions of the competition as well as Oman and Turkmenistan.

Indian football fans were overjoyed after the draw as they are now hopeful that Chhetri and Co. can put up a good show in the tournament.

The top 24 teams from all over Asia, including hosts UAE, were drawn into six groups of four teams each.

"The players are very professional and we're going to think only about the football", he said.

What a beauty! #AsianCup2019 trophy and the official match ball.

Saudi Arabia, who have won the AFC Asian Cup three times, will be looking forward to returning to the UAE, the place where they defeated the hosts on penalties in the 1996 final.

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