Monday, December 6, 2021

AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022: India in Group A with China, Chinese Taipei, and Iran

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In the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup draw held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday, the Indian women’s national team was placed in Group A alongside China PR, Chinese Taipei, and IR Iran. The event will begin on January 20, 2022, and end on February 6, 2022.

This is India’s seventh final appearance, and they are hosting the tournament for the second time after finishing second to Chinese Taipei in the 1979 edition. After a third-place finish in 1981, India finished second in the Thailand finals in 1983, when the hosts were proclaimed champions.

China PR is the eight-time record winner from India’s group, with the last triumph coming in 1999, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has qualified for the finals for the first time since 2006.

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About the Group

After the AFC revealed the final draw, Indian Women’s Football Coach Thomas Dennerby expressed confidence that India will be placed in Group A.

As mentioned in a statement on the official website of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Dennerby said: “It is an exciting group. We respect all our opponents as all of them are strong teams who have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup India 2022. But we are ready to play any team. I don’t consider any particular match as a key one. All three matches are key matches for us in the group stage. We need to do our job over 90 minutes every time we enter the field.”

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Will they be able to go to the knockout stages?

India is now placed 57th in the FIFA rankings, while their opponents, China PR, Chinese Taipei, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, are ranked 17th, 40th, and 72nd, respectively. The draw was placed earlier today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with 12 players in each of the three groups being named.

In terms of matches, the Indian Women’s football team last competed in early October during international friendlies against Asian opponents. India triumphed 4-1 against the UAE in the first friendly encounter before losing 0-1 against Tunisia in the second match.

India, on the other hand, won the next two international friendlies, 5-0 against Bahrain and 1-0 against Chinese Taipei, their AFC Asian Cup Group-A opponents. India may be able to qualify for the knockout stage based on these outcomes.

The tournament’s complete final draw is as follows:

Group A:  India, China PR, Chinese Taipei, IR Iran.

Group B:  Australia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia.

Group C:  Japan, Korea Republic, Vietnam, Myanmar.

Final Thoughts

On January 20, India will play Iran in the tournament’s opening match at the DY Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai. For the eves, tougher games against China PR and Chinese Taipei await.

Fans may be reminded of India’s recent international friendly victory over Chinese Taipei. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to defeat them. At the same time, how Thomas Dennerby’s team approaches the match against China PR remains to be seen.

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