Sunday , September 25 2022

Young talents ready for 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup – Uzbekistan Qualifiers!

The 2023 AFC U20 Asian Cup – Uzbekistan Qualifiers will mark the full-scale return of elite men’s youth football in Asia since 2018 when the Continent’s future stars take to the pitch on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

The Qualifiers usher in a new era for the AFC’s age-group tournament, with the U-20 replacing the U-19 competition and organised without the zoning principles, as the top two teams advance to the Finals next year.

Palestine and Yemen will kickstart the Qualifiers on Saturday at 4pm when they face off in Group C at the National Stadium KM16 in Laos while the host nation take on Guam three hours later. The five-team group also includes heavyweights Japan, who are in action two days later against Laos.

In Group D, Chinese Taipei will commence their campaign against Syria at the Applied Science University Stadium at 4.30pm followed by the Northern Mariana Islands versus Turkmenistan encounter at 9pm. Host nation Jordan are in action on September 12 against Turkmenistan.

Bhutan and Nepal begin their qualifying journey in Group B at the Sheikh Ali Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium at 6pm in Bahrain before the hosts face Bangladesh three hours later. Meanwhile, Qatar will kickstart their qualification march on September 12 against Nepal.

Uzbekistan, who have already qualified to the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ 2023 as the host nation, have been drawn into Group A but all their matches will be considered as friendlies and will not be taken into account when calculating the group ranking.

Maldives will present the Central Asians with their first stern test at the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium at 6.15pm before Myanmar take on China at 9.30pm while 2018 champions Saudi Arabia open their Qualifiers campaign against Maldives two days later.

The remaining groups will contend for a place in the Finals from September 14 with Korea Republic taking on Sri Lanka at the MFF Stadium at 12.30pm while hosts Mongolia face Malaysia at 5pm in Group E.

Group F will see Vietnam going up against Hong Kong at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium at 4pm while hosts Indonesia have Timor-Leste for company at 8pm.

Further, Thailand square off with Afghanistan at 5pm in Group G followed by hosts Oman against the Philippines at 8.45pm at the Al Saadah Sport Complex.

Meanwhile, the matches in Group H, comprising India, Iraq and Kuwait, which were originally scheduled to take place in Basra, Iraq, will now be moved to an alternative venue and date with further details to be finalised and communicated in due course.

The Republican Central Stadium in Dushanbe will be the host venue for Group I when Cambodia tussle against Lebanon at 5pm with hosts Tajikistan in action against Singapore at 8pm.

Staying in Central Asia, 2008 champions United Arab Emirates will battle Brunei Darussalam at 4pm before the Kyrgyz Republic face Iran at 8.30pm with both matches scheduled to be played at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek.

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