Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Dubai: After more than three years of qualifying suspense, Asia’s best 24 teams finally discovered their AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Group Stage challengers on Friday.
In a grand spectacle at the United Arab Emirates Burj Khalifa, hosts UAE, who were positioned in first place in Group A, will kick-off Asia’s most prestigious tournament against Bahrain at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on January 5, 2019.
The host nation will be looking to improve on their second place finish the last time the competition was held in the UAE in 1996, but will face formidable opponents in India and Thailand who complete the cast in Group A.
Meanwhile defending champions Australia were drawn in Group B with 2004 and 2011 quarter-finalists Jordan, Palestine, and Syria, who return to the competition following their absence in Australia 2015.
Continent powerhouses and 2015 finalists Korea Republic, who are on the hunt for their first title since 1960, were drawn in Group C with two-time runners-up China PR as well as two debutants in the UAE 2019 - Kyrgyz Republic and Philippines.