Four ASEAN teams — Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia — were on Wednesday drawn into the same group for the second round of 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers.
Vietnam from Pot 2, Thailand from Pot 3, Malaysia from Pot 4 and Indonesia from Pot 5 will join the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Pot 1 are pooled into Group G which promises to be mouthwatering prospect for the football fans in Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, China PR have been drawn into Group A along with Syria, Philippines, Maldives and Guam while Group B features Australia, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait and Nepal.
Cambodia are in Group C where they will face tough competition from IR Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Hong Kong. Singapore, meanwhile, are in Group D with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine and Yemen. Asian champions Qatar are placed in Group E along with Bangladesh, Oman, India and Afghanistan.
Group F features Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia while Group H has Korea Republic, DPR Korea, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.
The draw saw 40 top Asian nations pooled into five pots based on their positions in June’s FIFA World Rankings. The 40 teams were drawn into eight groups of five team each at Malaysia on Wednesday.
The second round of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint-qualifiers is scheduled to begin on September 5, 2019 and last until June 9, 2020. Matches in the group stages will be held on a home-and-away basis with each team playing eight games in the second round.
Eventually, the eight group winners as well as the four best runners-up will qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 to be held in China as well as the third and final round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers which is scheduled to begin in September 2020.
Four best teams in the third round will qualify for the showpiece event in Qatar while a fifth team will take part in an intercontinental play-off.
Meanwhile, the next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint-qualifiers will take part in a separate competition to decide the 12 remaining slots in 24-team 2023 Asian Cup.
2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 2 draw results
Group A – 1. China PR 2. Syria 3. Philippines 4. Maldives 5. Guam
Group B – 1. Australia 2. Jordan 3. Chinese Taipei 4. Kuwait 5. Nepal
Group C – 1. IR Iran 2. Iraq 3. Bahrain 4. Hong Kong 5. Cambodia
Group D 1. Saudi Arabia 2. Uzbekistan 3. Palestine 4. Yemen 5. Singapore
Group E 1. Bangladesh 2. Oman 3. India 4. Afghanistan 5. Qatar
Group F – 1. Japan 2. Kyrgyz Republic 3. Tajikistan 4. Myanmar 5. Mongolia
Group G – 1. UAE 2. Vietnam 3. Thailand 4. Malaysia 5. Indonesia
Group H 1. Korea Republic 2. Lebanon 3. DPR Korea 4. Turkmenistan 5. Sri Lanka