India draw Australia, Syria in tough Group B in Asian Cup

Doha: The Indian men’s football team on Thursday drew a tough group as it was clubbed with heavyweights Australia, Syria and Uzbekistan in the 2024 AFC Asian Cup, to be held in Doha in January.

India, who have had a successful qualifying campaign for the continental showpiece, were in pot 4 in the draw that was conducted in Doha. India will be in Group B in the tournament proper.

Twenty-four teams were divided into four pots, and drawn into six groups of four teams each for the tournament that was originally scheduled to take place in China this summer.

India have qualified for back-to-back editions of the tournament for the first time. The one in Qatar capital will be their fifth appearance in the tournament.

In the last edition, India started with a convincing win against Thailand but lost their last two matches to bow out of the tournament after raising hopes.

Qatar as hosts were automatically drawn in Group A and will play the tournament opener.

Iran were placed in Group C as Japan were drawn in Group D. South Korea were placed in Group E while Saudi Arabia were drawn in Group F.

Groupings: Group A – Qatar, China, Tajikistan, Lebanon Group B – Australia, Uzbekistan, Syria, India Group C – Iran, UAE, Hong Kong, Palestine Group D – Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, Vietnam Group E – South Korea, Malaysia, Jordan, Bahrain Group F – Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyz Republic, Oman.