India have been drawn into Group C for Round 2, of the AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024. The Blue Tigresses, ranked 61 in the world, are in the same group as 2012 Olympics silver medallists Japan (ranked 11 in the world), Vietnam (33) who will make their debut at the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this year and hosts Uzbekistan (50).
India qualified for Round 2 with two wipe-outs of the Kyrgyz Republic earlier this year. The Blue Tigresses beat the hosts in a two-legged play off, 5-0 and 4-0.
Placed in Pot 4, India were the last team to be drawn from the pot, and went into Group C. Uzbekistan (Pot 3) and Vietnam (Pot 2) were the next to join them. Japan were the first team drawn from Pot 1, but by virtue of two other hosts — Australia and China — being in the same pot as were placed into Group C.
In the lead up to the Round 1 games against the Kyrgyz Republic, India also played Uzbekistan in a one-off friendly, losing to an injury time goal 3-2. The Blue Tigresses have suffered narrow one goal losses in the three previous times they have played Uzbekistan. India last faced Vietnam in a friendly in Hanoi in 2019, drawing 1-1, while the last meeting with Japan came in the 1997 Asian Women’s Championship, with India going down 0-1.
The AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 Round 2 matches will be played between October 23 and November 1. India will play their Group C games in Uzbekistan. Four teams — the three group winners and the best-ranked runners-up — will progress to Round 3 to play two pairs of home and away matches, slated for February 24 and 28, 2024. The winners will take the two spots reserved for Asia in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024.
Group A: Australia (H), Chinese Taipei, Philippines, Iran
Group B: China (H), South Korea, Thailand, North Korea
Group C: Japan, Vietnam, Uzbekistan (H), India