Tuesday , May 30 2023

2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup: Know your Groups!

With the draw for the 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup – Thailand completed, the 16 teams will now ramp up their preparations for the continental challenge.

The June 15 to July 2 tournament featuring the next generation of stars will also offer four spots to the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup – Peru.

Thailand, Yemen, Malaysia, Laos

A group with a distinct ASEAN flavour, all four teams will fancy their chances of advancing to the quarter-finals with Malaysia and Yemen having won their respective qualifying groups.

Malaysia topped a tough Group B after an amazing 5-1 final Matchday triumph over Indonesia, finishing on 10 points.

Yemen were the clear winners in Group E, registering wins overs Bangladesh, Singapore and Bhutan to qualify with a perfect record.

Laos and Thailand, meanwhile, qualified as among the six best runners-up after finihsing second in Groups I and F respectively.

South Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Qatar

By their high standards, South Korea had a difficult qualifying campaign, advancing to the Finals as among the six best runners-up after finishing second in Group J.

Qatar and Iran, meanwhile, enjoyed a more serene passage after topping Groups C and I respectively.

Afghanistan qualified after finishing second in Group H but with the formbook thrown out of the window when it comes to age-group tournaments, the Central Asian side will fancy their chances despite the tough opposition they will face.

Tajikistan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China

Tajikistan, runners-up in 2018, will be aiming to continue their run with this generation of players after topping Group H of the Qualifiers.

They can, however, expect to be tested with Australia having impressively won Group G, ahead of China with the two set to renew their rivalry in Thailand 2023.

Saudi Arabia were equally impressive in Group D, winning all four of their matches.

Japan, India, Vietnam, Uzbekistan

India are the odd team out here with Japan, Vietnam and Uzbekistan all having won their respective qualifying groups.

Japan, champions in 2018 when the tournament was called the AFC U16 Championship, were unstoppable in Group A with four wins, 15 goals scored and none conceded.

Vietnam registered a perfect three wins, scoring 12 and conceding none in Group F while Uzbekistan defeated Brunei Darussalam 14-0 and stunned South Korea 3-2 to top Group J.

India, however, will not be unduly worried as they advanced from a tough Group D behind Saudi Arabia, having defeated Kuwait, Myanmar and Maldives.

The 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup – Groups

Group A: Thailand, Yemen, Malaysia, Laos

Group B: South Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Qatar

Group C: Tajikistan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China

Group D: Japan, India, Vietnam, Uzbekistan

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