Monday , May 27 2024

2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup – Know Your Teams!

The 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup – Thailand promises to be a spectacular affair with the continent’s rising stars looking forward to producing their best.

With the kick-off just two days away, takes a look at the cast set to light up the tournament.

Group A

Thailand, with home ground advantage, will fancy their chances of advancing but nothing is certain in a competitive looking Group A with all four sides heading into the tournament well prepared.

Malaysia and Yemen impressed in qualifying while Laos proved they cannot be taken lightly, setting the stage for a battle till the end in Group A.

Previous Appearances: 2
Best Finish: Group Stage
Qualifiers: Group I runners-up
Fun Fact: Laos will be appearing in the Finals for the first time since 2012

Previous Appearances: 5
Best Finish: Quarterfinals – 2014
Qualifiers: Group B winners
Fun Fact: Malaysia will feature in the Finals for the fourth successive edition

Previous Appearances: 11
Best Finish: Champions – 1998
Qualifiers: Group F runners-up
Fun Fact: Thailand have not advanced past the group stage in the previous four editions

Previous Appearances: 5
Best Finish: Runners-up – 2002
Qualifiers: Group E winners
Fun Fact: Yemen topped their qualifying group with three wins, 18 goals scored and none conceded

Group B
Three former champions in the fray means Group B will be spectacular with Afghanistan the only ones not to have lifted the title before.

Iran, South Korea and Qatar will all be determined to end their long waits, meaning fans can expect high octane action from the first kick of the ball in the group.

Previous Appearances: 1
Best Finish: Group Stage
Qualifiers: Group H Runners-up
Fun Fact: Afghanistan’s debut appearance in the Finals was in 2018

Previous Appearances: 11
Best Finish: Champions – 2008
Qualifiers: Group I winners
Fun Fact: Besides emerging champions in 2008, Iran were runners-up in the 2000 and 2016 editions

South Korea
Previous Appearances: 14
Best Finish: Champions – 1986, 2002
Qualifiers: Group J runners-up
Fun Fact: Besides winning the title twice, Korea Republic emerged runners-up in 2008 and 2014

Previous Appearances: 10
Best Finish: Champions – 1990
Qualifiers: Group C winners
Fun Fact: Also five-time runners-up, Qatar are returning to the Finals after having missed the 2016 and 2018 Finals

Group C

Australia and China will renew their rivalry in Group C after having squared off in the Qualifiers.

Both, however, know they have a battle on their hands with Saudi Arabia seeking a third title while Tajikistan will be aiming to better their 2018 runners-up finish.

Previous Appearances: 6
Best Finish: Semi-finals – 2010, 2014, 2018
Qualifiers: Group G winners
Fun Fact: Australia have only once failed to advance from the group stage – in 2016

Previous Appearances: 14
Best Finish: Champions – 1992, 2004
Qualifiers: Group G runners-up
Fun Fact: Having missed the last two editions, China did not advance past the group stage in the four tournaments between 2008 and 2014.

Saudi Arabia
Previous Appearances: 10
Best Finish: Champions – 1985, 1988
Qualifiers: Group D winners
Fun Fact: Saudi Arabia were the inaugural champions in 1985

Previous Appearances: 3
Best Finish: Runners-up – 2018
Qualifiers: Group H winners
Fun Fact: Tajikistan finished third in their inaugural appearance in the Finals in 2006

Group D

Japan will be seeking a record-extending fourth title but their Group D opposition will have other ideas.

India were denied the top spot by Saudi Arabia in the Qualifiers but impressed with their battling performances while Uzbekistan and Vietnam’s focus on development has been paying off handsomely in recent times.

Previous Appearances: 8
Best Finish: Quarterfinalists – 2002, 2018
Qualifiers: Group D runners-up
Fun Fact: India impressed in qualifying, finishing behind Saudi Arabia but ahead of Kuwait, Myanmar and Maldives to qualify as one of the best six runners-up

Previous Appearances: 15
Best Finish: Champions – 1994, 2006, 2018
Qualifiers: Group A winners
Fun Fact: Japan have won the title a record three times and finished second once

Previous Appearances: 9
Best Finish: Champions – 2012
Qualifiers: Group J winners
Fun Fact: Uzbekistan will be aiming to complete a double after having won the AFC U20 Asian Cup 2023 title in March

Previous Appearances: 7
Best Finish: Fourth – 2000
Qualifiers: Group F winners
Fun Fact: Vietnam have only advanced to the knockout stage once – in 2016 – since their fourth place finish in their debut appearance in 2000

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