Friday 04 May 2018, 19:53

Draw sets out path for Asian Cup hopefuls

  • The draw for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 took place on Friday

  • 24 qualified teams were drawn into six groups of four teams each

  • Australia looking to defend title they won as hosts in 2015

Asia’s best teams learned who they will face in the next edition of the continent’s most prestigious competition after the draw for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 took place in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

Hosts UAE were drawn in Group A and will play the opening match of the tournament against West Asian rivals Bahrain in Abu Dhabi on 5 January. Thailand and India were also drawn in the group.

Holders Australia will begin their quest to retain the title by facing Syria, Palestine and Jordan in Group B, while the competition’s most successful side in four-time champions Japan will face Uzbekistan, Oman and Turkmenistan in Group F.

Eight venues across the United Arab Emirates will play host to the competition, with Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium hosting the final on 1 February.