2019 Asia Cup : India handed an easy route to qualify for the final stages

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India has been handed an easy route to qualify for AFC Asia Cup 2019 to be held in United Arab Emirates (UAE). In the  draw for third round of qualification, India was drawn along side  Kyrgyzstan,Myanmar and Macau in Group A. Comparatively an easy group to qualify,thanks to the recent progress in the FIFA rankings.

Mohammed Rafi and Syed Rahim Nabi in action against Australia in 2011AFC ASIA CUP

Kyrgyzstan ranked 124 in FIFA rankings  are expected to be India’s strongest challengers, while Myanmar (159th) and Macau (184th) are placed significantly lower than The Blue Tigers.

24 teams will compete in 6 groups for gaining qualification for the final rounds of AFC Asia Cup. Group winners and Runners up from all the 6 groups will join the 12 teams, which qualified directly from from the second round of qualifiers.

Here is the full draw:

Group A: Kyrgyzstan, India, Myanmar, Macau

Group B: North Korea, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Malaysia

Group C: Jordan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Cambodia

Group D: Oman, Palestine, Maldives, Bhutan

Group E: Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei, Singapore

Group F: Philippines, Tajikistan, Yemen, Nepal

India earned qualification for the AFC Asia Cup back in 2011 by winning AFC Challenge Cup in 2008.