India have qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, following Palestine's 4-0 win over Philippines in a Group B match on Tuesday.This is the first time that India have qualified for two successive editions of the Asian Cup.
Ahead of their final game against group toppers Hong Kong, Sunil Chhetri-led team is placed 2nd in Group D. Both teams are on six points but Hong Kong are above India based on goal difference.The final qualifying round saw 24 teams vie for the 11 remaining spots.
The sides were divided into six groups of four teams each with the eventual six group winners and five best runner-ups qualifying for next year's Asian Cup.The All India Football Association confirmed the country's qualification on social media.
"HERE WE COME; As Palestine defeat Philippines in Group B, the #BlueTigers have now secured back-to-back qualifications for the @afcasiancup," AIFF said.Drawn in Group D, India, beat Cambodia 2-0 in the opening match and earned a hard-fought 2-1 over Afghanistan in their second outing.
The new host country for AFC Asian Cup 2023 is yet to be finalised after China gave up its hosting rights due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. The quadrennial event is scheduled to be held from June 16 to July 16, next year.