And just like that, we are done with the AFC Asian Cup Group Stage. The Top 16 teams have been decided, who will now move into the knockout stages, continuing their bid to lift the coveted trophy. With the draw already decided, here’s a primer about who will face whom in the Round of 16.
The draw for the round of 16 of the AFC Asian Cup has already been decided, with some exciting fixtures coming up.
On paper, record-title holders Japan have the trickiest tie of the lot, as they face Saudi Arabia in the first knockout round, in what is a repeat of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup semifinals. The winner of this tie will face either Vietnam or Jordan in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, ASEAN giants Thailand have landed themselves a tricky tie in the form of China PR. A win here could see them potentially face contenders IR Iran, who are drawn against Oman for the Round of 16.
Meanwhile, in the other half of the knockouts, Qatar and Iraq will face each other in the standout tie, while Korea Republic will take on Bahrain.
Hosts UAE will take on Kyrgyz Republic in the Round of 16. A win here would see them face one of either Australia or Uzbekistan in the Quarterfinals.
The first knockout rounds will be played from January 20 to January 22.