Soccer-Thailand to face Uzbekistan in quest for Asian Cup berth

By Michael Church

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Southeast Asian champions Thailand will take on 2011 Asian Cup semi-finalists Uzbekistan in the next round of qualifying for the 2023 Asian Cup finals in June.

The pair were drawn in Group C, which will be played in Uzbekistan, alongside the Maldives and Sri Lanka in the third round of qualifying for the continental championship.

The 24-team finals are due to be played in China in June 2023.

Only the winners of each of the six groups are guaranteed to advance, with the five runners-up with the best records also progressing.

China have already qualified as hosts while four-time champions Japan as well as Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Oman, Vietnam and Qatar have already secured their places.

Two-time quarter-finalists Jordan will meet former champions Kuwait, Indonesia and Nepal in Group A in Kuwait City while Palestine meet the Philippines, Yemen and Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar in Group B.

India will host Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Cambodia in Group D with Group E being played in Malaysia, where the hosts will be joined by Bahrain, Turkmenistan and Bangladesh.

Kyrgyzstan will be joined by Central Asian neighbours Tajikistan in Bishkek in Group F, which also features Myanmar and Singapore.

Matches will be played on June 8, 11 and 14.

Asian Cup Qualifying Draw:

Group A: Jordan, Kuwait, Indonesia, Nepal

Group B: Palestine, Philippines, Yemen, Mongolia

Group C: Uzbekistan, Thailand, Maldives, Sri Lanka

Group D: India, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Cambodia

Group E: Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh

Group F: Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Singapore

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022. Click For Restrictions -

Reuters Soccer Asia Hong Kong