India placed with Japan, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan for AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023

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The AFC U-17 Asian Cup 2023 football competition, which is set to take place from June 15 to July 2 in Bangkok, Thailand, has placed the Indian football team in Group D alongside three-time champions Japan, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan.

The draw was made public on Thursday by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). India's 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup campaign will get underway against Vietnam.

"We are all excited with the group that we got at the draw. We will be facing some quality opponents, and the boys are really looking forward to it. Every footballer at every level wants to play against the best, and Japan are certainly one of the best in Asia," head coach Bibiano Fernandes said.

"Our previous batches have played against teams like Uzbekistan and Vietnam, and we have had some good results against them. So, we are very hopeful to reach our goal, which is to be the first Indian team to qualify for the (FIFA U-17) World Cup," Bibiano added.

India will be participating in the AFC U-17 Asian Cup, also known as the AFC U-16 and U-17 Championships, for the ninth time. Quarterfinal appearances in 2002 and 2018 rank among India's finest results in the age-group competition.

In Group A, Malaysia, Laos, and Yemen will be joined by the hosts Thailand. Iran, Afghanistan, and Qatar make up Group B together with two-time winner South Korea. Australia, Saudi Arabia, and China make up Group C, which includes Tajikistan.

Four teams each will be divided among the four categories. To the knockouts, which include the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final, the top two teams from each group will proceed.

The four semifinalists will secure berths in the November 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru.

The Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, the Thammasat Stadium and BG Stadium in Pathum Thani, and the Chonburi Stadium in Chonburi will all host the event.

Group A: Thailand, Yemen, Malaysia, Laos 

Group B: Korea Republic, Iran, Afghanistan, Qatar 

Group C: Tajikistan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China 

Group D: Japan, India, Vietnam, Uzbekistan

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