Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

India can qualify for Asian Cup knockout stages: Stephen Constantine

India can qualify for Asian Cup knockout stages: Stephen Constantine

On Friday, India were drawn with hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thailand and Bahrain in Group A of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

"I was part of the National Team in 2011 in Doha where we last played in the Continental Championship. We have always been a force to be reckoned with in the AFC Asian Cup but the recent results give me confidence that we will win the title for the fourth time", said Daei. Being the hosts, UAE were automatically drawn into Group A. Thailand and Bahrain were drawn from Pot 2 and 4 respectively.

The signing ceremony, which was also attended by Molten President and CEO Kiyofumi Tamiaki, means Molten will supply footballs to some of Asia's most high-profile fixtures including the AFC Asian Cup, the AFC Champions League, AFC Cup, AFC's two flagship futsal events as well as several men's and women's youth events at the national team level.

As defending champions, after defeating South Korea in the final in 2015 under Ange Postecoglou, Australia will travel to the tournament in the UAE with confidence.

The runners-up in the richest-ever Asian Cup will pocket $3 million while all 24 teams taking part will be awarded $200,000 for merely qualifying. "I could not have asked for anything more".

The tough draw came two days after the Azkals were placed in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup alongside defending champion Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and victor of the qualification round playoff between Timor Leste and Brunei. "Obviously it will not be easy but I think there are possibilities to qualify from this group". We have to make sure we use the tournament exposure well. "It is not", he said on the sidelines of an initiative by KIA Motors India to select two school children as official match ball carriers for the upcoming World Cup in Russian Federation.

The Socceroos have been handed what might be termed an interesting, and definitely testing, group when they kick off their defence of the Asian Cup in the UAE early next year. I have never taken ranking seriously. Our home record, they have always been good. I am happy we have broken inside 100 but the way ranking works is very, very tricky so I don't give it too much importance.

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