Australia Draws Three Western Asian Teams

Australia has been drawn to play against Bahrain, Kuwait and Lebanon in the qualifying tournament of the AFC Asian Cup 2007.

Australia has been drawn alongside Bahrain, Kuwait and Lebanon in today's draw for the AFC Asian Cup 2007 qualifiers held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Seeded 24th (48th in FIFA World Rankings) due to its new status in the Asian Football Confederation, Australia were ranked in the lowest pot and will have to face Bahrain (seeded 4th - 52nd in FIFA World Rankings), Kuwait (seeded 10th - 72nd in FIFA World Rankings) and Lebanon (seeded 16th - 125th in FIFA World Rankings) for a place in the finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2007. Head of the FFA High Performance Unit, John Boultbee, was generally pleased with the draw handed to Australia. "I suppose we should be pleased to have avoided some of the heavyweights of Asian football," Boultbee said from Kuala Lumpur. "There is some worthy opponents there though. Bahrain has just finished a pretty tough battle in just missing out on the World Cup (to Trinidad and Tobago) and are well respected team in this region. "Kuwait has a better win-lose record in the six times we have played them, while Lebanon is a bit of an unknown quantity. It's a good draw, but not the hardest draw we could get, although we will need to play well to get into the top two and make the finals." The Qualification Round will run from February to November 2006 with teams in each group meeting each other on a home and away basis.  Australia's first two matches are currently scheduled to be away to Bahrain on 22 February and home to Lebanon on 1 March.  The other qualification matches will be played in September, October and November. The top two from each of the six groups will qualify for the finals, which is being held across four countries from 7-29 July 2007. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam all qualify for the finals automatically as co-hosts. The Socceroos have played Kuwait six times for two wins, one draw and three losses, but have not played against either Bahrain or Lebanon. AUSTRALIA VS. KUWAIT L 1-2  (Sydney, WCQ - 16-10-77) L 0-1  (Kuwait City, WCQ - 19-11-77) W 1-0  (Singapore, Friendly - 15-04-93) L 1-3  (Singapore, Friendly - 19-04-93) D 0-0  (Kuala Lumpur, Friendly - 24-09-94) W 1-0  (Dubai, Friendly - 04-10-00) Overall record: P6 - W2 - D1 - L3 FULL GROUPS - QUALIFICATION ROUND AFC ASIAN CUP 2007 Group A 1 Japan 2 Saudi Arabia 3 Yemen 4 India Group B 1 IR Iran 2 Korea Republic 3 Syria 4 Chinese Taipei Group C 1 Jordan 2 Oman 3 UAE 4 Pakistan Group D 1 Bahrain 2 Kuwait 3 Lebanon 4 Australia Group E 1 China PR 2 Iraq 3 Singapore 4 Palestine Group F 1 Uzbekistan 2 Qatar 3 Hong Kong 4 Bangladesh