Stage set for AFC U23 Championship China 2018
Changzhou: With the latest edition of the AFC U23 Championship set to begin on Tuesday, football fans across Asia are once again looking forward to seeing the region’s finest young talent lock horns en route to continental glory.
In total, 16 teams will be vying to claim the title won by Japan two years ago in Qatar, and with the likes of Iraqi ace Hussain Ali and host nation livewire Wei Shihao set to grace the competition, expectation is high that the tournament will further enhance its already burgeoning reputation.
This month’s action in Jiangsu province – which will conclude with the competition’s final on January 27 – gets underway at the Changzhou Olympic Sports Center when head coach Massimiliano Maddaloni’s talented China PR side tackle Oman and Qatar play Uzbekistan in the day’s later game.
Reigning champions Japan are scheduled to begin their title defence against competition debutants Palestine on Wednesday.
The Teams (top two sides qualify for the quarter-finals)
Group A: CHINA, OMAN, QATAR, UZBEKISTAN
Group B: JAPAN, DPR KOREA, THAILAND, PALESTINE
Group C: IRAQ, JORDAN, SAUDI ARABIA, MALAYSIA
Group D: KOREA REPUBLIC, AUSTRALIA, SYRIA, VIETNAM
See also :
Group A - January 9: CHINA v OMAN & QATAR v UZBEKISTAN
Group B - January 10: DPR KOREA v THAILAND & JAPAN v PALESTINE
Group C - January 10: IRAQ v MALAYSIA & JORDAN v SAUDI ARABIA
Group D - January 11: AUSTRALIA v SYRIA & KOREA REPUBLIC v VIETNAM
Group A + 1 Quarter-final + 1 Semi-Final + Final: Changzhou Olympic Sports Center
Group B + 1 Quarter-final: Jiangyin Sports Center
Group C + 1 Quarter-final: Changshu Sports Center
Group D + 1 Quarter-final + 1 Semi-final + 3rd/4th Place: Kunshan Sports Center
Did you know: There have been 64 games played over the two editions of the AFC U23 Championship with a total of 176 goals scored – 2.75 per game. The 2016 tournament saw 103 goals, with 73 scored in 2014.
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