Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Who will India face in the group stages?

India captain Sunil Chhetri with coach Stephen Constantine India captain Sunil Chhetri with coach Stephen Constantine
Andrew Cummings | 07 May, 2018, 00:37

Gurugram: Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri Sunday stated that the country should play more worldwide matches away from home and against much stronger opponents in the next six months if it is to do well in the AFC Asian Cup next year.

At the draw in Dubai, India will be represented by skipper Sunil Chhetri.

The Zayed Sports City Stadium will also host the final on February 1, 2019 after 28 days of enthralling action with the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium and Al Nahyan Stadium hosting the remaining matches in Abu Dhabi. I think we got Japan, Uzbekistan and DPR Korea once.

United Arab Emirates are ranked 81 and are the only team with a better FIFA Ranking than India in Group A. Thailand are placed 122 and Bahrain occupy the 116th spot.

Iran is Asia's top side in the FIFA World Ranking and were also the first team from the Continent to seal a place in the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, confirming their place last June.

THEIR grip on the Asian Cup is about to be released - now the Socceroos know who they will have to play at the start of their title defence.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Chhetri said: "The AFC Asian Cup is an enormous opportunity for us and we are looking forward to it".

Defending champions Australia will renew their rivalry with Syria at the Asian Cup finals after being drawn alongside the Middle Eastern nation on Friday for next year's tournament. Thailand hosted that tournament with only six teams participating. We've played two of those opponents recently. I think they beat Australia at home if I am not wrong.

The AFC President, who made the announcement during the final draw said: "Tonight, we celebrate a new chapter in the glorious history of the Asian Cup here in the UAE. Once we see these five teams play, we will know how far we are", Chhetri said at the sidelines of a KIA motors initiative in New Delhi to select two kids as official match ball carriers for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

India have had a brilliant run over the past two years, going on a 13-match unbeaten run.

They reached the Asian Cup for the first time in the last edition, coming bottom of their group after losing to Japan, Iraq, and Jordan.

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