The AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers draw was held in Abu Dhabi on the 23rd of January, Monday. And India have been drawn in a comparatively easier group. At least on pen and paper. India have been drawn in Group A alongside Macau, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan.
The qualifying matches will be played from the month of March and India play their first match against Myanmar. The winners and runners-up from each of the six groups will qualify for the final competition to be held in UAE in 2019. Team India will be eager to qualify for the finals as they last appeared in the finals in 2011.
The Indian team’s head coach Stephen Constantine sounded positive after the draw and was confident that his team could secure a top two finish in the group. Only Kyrgystan is ranked above India in the group, while Myanmar and Macau are ranked 159th and 184th respectively. The AFC Asian Cup started in 1956 and Australia are the current champions winning the competition in 2015. On the other hand Japan is country to win the Asian Cup the maximum number of times(4).
The full draw of the qualifiers is as follows:
Group A: Kyrgyzstan, India, Macau, Myanmar.
Group B: North Korea, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Malaysia.
Group C: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Jordan, Vietnam.
Group D: Oman, Maldives, Bhutan, Palestine.
Group E: Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei, Bahrain, Singapore.
Group F: Tajikistan, Yemen, Nepal, Phillipines.
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