Draw unveils exciting groups for Asia's best
Zurich: Reigning AFC U-16 champions Japan will face USA, Senegal and Netherlands in the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil following the draw ceremony in Zurich on Thursday.
Japan, who defeated Tajikistan to lift the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship title in Kuala Lumpur, will fancy their chances of advancing to the knockout stage in their ninth appearance in the Finals.
Tajikistan, meanwhile, were drawn in Group E with Spain, Argentina and Cameroon and the Central Asians - who will be making their second appearance in the Finals - will be eager to test themselves after their fabulous run in the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship.
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Australia, in their 13th Finals, have five-time champions Nigeria, Hungary and Ecuador for company in Group B and the Joeys greeted the draw with excitement.
"Tonight’s draw gives us some targets and some things to aim for, but the focus has to be on ourselves and giving our players the chance to push for a spot in the squad for Brazil and then playing the best football we can with the weapons that we have,” said Australia head coach Trevor Morgan.
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Which Asian nation has the the toughest opponents? 🤔 #U17WC Repost from @fifaworldcup Your FIFA #U17WC line-up! 🤩 Here's how the 24 teams will line up across six groups in 🇧🇷 #Brazil, with the hosts meeting Canada in the tournament-opener on 26 October 🏆 Which group is toughest? 🤔
Korea Republic, Asia's fourth representatives in the Finals, were drawn in Group C with Haiti, France and Chile and the East Asians, appearing in the Finals for the sixth time, will be eager to impress just as their U-20 counterparts did in the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place from October 26 to November 17.
Photo: FIFA via Getty Images