In a historical moment, the Indian national football team qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, even before playing their encounter against Hong Kong on Tuesday. The qualification came in after Palestine defeated the Philippines in another group of the qualifiers, which sent India to the main draw.
This means that India has qualified for the prestigious tournament in back-to-back editions for the very first time in its history. India had made it to the tournament in 1964, 1984, 2011, 2019, and now in 2023.
🥳 HERE WE COME 🥳— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 14, 2022
As Palestine 🇵🇸 defeat Philippines 🇵🇭 in Group 🅱️, the #BlueTigers 🐯 🇮🇳 have now secured back-to-back qualifications for the @afcasiancup 🤩#ACQ2023 🏆 #BackTheBlue 💙 #IndianFootball ⚽ pic.twitter.com/3aNjymWLSm
Meanwhile, Palestine recorded a 4-0 win over the Philippines, earlier on Tuesday. Only the winners of the six qualifying groups are sure to advance to the tournament proper, where they will be joined by the five best second-placed teams in their respective groups.
India, which is second behind Hong Kong on goal difference, has qualified ahead of its final round group D clash. The best finish for the Indian team was a second-place finish, behind Israel in 1964. After that, the team has not managed to win a game also in the tournament.