Asian Cup draw a mixed bag for AFF nations

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With captain Sunil Chetri on stage as part of the draw, India found themselves in Group A of the Asian Cup to be played in United Arab Emirates from January 5 next.

"What I'm really anxious about and looking forward to is winning games for our country, winning games outside our country. Back home in India, everyone is excited and we have the blessings of all the people and we will do our best". "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.

Australia will face Syria, so almost their nemesis in the recent World Cup qualifiers, Jordan, who beat Ange Postecoglou's men in Amman in one of the earlier group games in qualification for the 2018 World Cup, and Palestine.

National team head coach Stephen Constantine was also present on the occasion. Being the hosts, UAE were automatically drawn into Group A. Thailand and Bahrain were drawn from Pot 2 and 4 respectively.

"If you say it can be easier because we are doing well that can be a valid point". We know whichever team we face, it's going to be hard.

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Australia and Jordan have faced each other four times - all in World Cup qualifying - with each side winning two games, while Syria's gallant but eventually unsuccessful bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation has made football fans sit up and take notice.

A new trophy and a new ball was also presented as the AFC formally bade farewell to Nike as its technical partner with Japanese-made Molten stepping in as the confederations' new partner beginning with this tournament that will kick off on January 5. I think they beat Australia at home if I am not wrong.

He has donned India jerseys 97 times so far and his 100th match is expected to come up during the four-team Intercontinental Cup to be held from June 1 in Mumbai, which will also involve South Africa, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei. We've played two of those opponents recently.

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 have never taken ranking seriously. "I could not have asked for anything more". "What we have to deal with is a much bigger stage and it will not help by what we have done before", he said.

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