The India U23 football team were drawn with United Arab Emirates, Oman and Kyrgyz Republic in Group E for the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifiers. UAE will host all the group matches.
The draw in Tashkent, which took place on Friday, saw 42 teams getting divided into 11 groups with 15 spots up for grabs in the finals. Hosts Uzbekistan have already confirmed their place by default.
All teams were divided into two regions. While the west region has 23 west, south and central teams, the east region will have 19 east and ASEAN participating teams.
The main event of AFC U23 Asian Cup will take place June 1-19, 2022, where 16 teams will compete for the coveted trophy. India can qualify for the finals by either topping Group E or finishing among the best four second-placed teams.
Defending AFC U23 Asian Cup champions Korea Republic is pitted in Group H with ASEAN nations Singapore (hosts), Timor-Leste and Philippines. Last year’s runner-up Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is clubbed with Bangladesh, Kuwait (hosts) and Uzbekistan in Group D.
After finishing third in the 2020 AFC U23 Asian Cup, Australia will aim to improve their finish after being put in Group G alongside China PR, Indonesia (hosts) and Brunei Darussalam.
AFC U23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifier Groups
Group A: Syria, Qatar (H), Yemen, Sri Lanka
Group B: Islamic Republic of Iran, Tajikistan (H), Lebanon, Nepal
Group C: Iraq, Bahrain (H), Afghanistan, Maldives
Group D: Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Kuwait (H), Uzbekistan
Group E: United Arab Emirates (H), Oman, India, Kyrgyz Republic
Group F: Jordan (H), Palestine, Turkmenistan
Group G: Australia, China PR, Indonesia (H), Brunei Darussalam
Group H: Korea Republic, Singapore (H), Timor-Leste, Philippines
Group I: Vietnam, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei (H)
Group J: Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Mongolia (H)
Group K: DPR Korea, Japan, Cambodia