Kolkata: Igor Stimac hailed his team’s continually improving performances throughout the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round as India closed out Group D with a 4-0 win over Hong Kong in Kolkata on Tuesday that sealed top spot and a berth at the Finals.
Anwar Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Glan Martins and Ishan Pandita were all on target as the hosts claimed a third consecutive victory to finish on top of the standings with maximum points ahead of Hong Kong as both teams secured tickets for the Finals.
Kuala Lumpur: The cast for the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Finals was confirmed following the conclusion of the Final Round of Qualifiers on Tuesday.
Eleven teams booked their tickets from the six qualifying groups that were played in Bishkek, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait City, Namangan and Ulaanbaatar, with Tajikistan creating history by confirming their first appearance in the Continental showpiece.
The 11 qualifiers join the 13 teams who had already booked their places after the second round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™ in June, 2021.
AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round - MD3 Results & Reports
Kuala Lumpur: The cast for the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ will be finalised on Tuesday. While some teams' hopes have already been dashed, most remain in contention in the six AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round groups.
The six group winners and five best runners-up will join the 13 teams who have already qualified for the Finals.
Stay updated on the AFC Asian Cup 2023™ Qualifiers Final Round through the AFC's digital platforms.
Qualifiers Final Round Group D: India 4-0 Hong Kong
Kolkata: India celebrated their qualification for the Finals of the AFC Asian Cup™ 2023 on Tuesday by handing Hong Kong a 4-0 defeat at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium that ensured Igor Stimac’s side finished on top of the standings in Group D.
The win sees India complete the Qualifiers with a perfect record after earlier wins over Afghanistan and Cambodia, while Hong Kong have also secured their place at next year’s Finals after claiming one of the five best runners-up spots with their six-point haul.
A goal at either end of the first half put the Indians on their way to victory as Stimac’s side made sure of top spot in the group against a Hong Kong side that was celebrating qualification for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time since 1968.
Tashkent: Head coach Timur Kapadze is fully aware of what is stake when the hosts face Japan in the semi-finals of the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022 on Wednesday.
The match at the Bunyodkor Stadium will be a repeat of the 2018 quarter-final with Uzbekistan defeating Japan 4-0 en route to winning the title.
Japan’s Class of 2022, however, are at a different level - as shown in their impressive 3-0 win over defending champions Korea Republic in the quarter-finals and Kapadze knows his team, who edged Iraq on penalties to advance, are in for another massive challenge.
Boosted Najjarine wants title, Al Yami confident of chances
Tashkent: Motivated by the senior team’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification, Ramy Najjarine is determined to help steer Australia to the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2022 title.
The Socceroos confirmed a sixth FIFA World Cup Finals appearance with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Peru in Doha on Monday and attacking midfielder Najjarine said he is determined this generation of Olyroos will win the AFC U23 Asian Cup for the first time.