Caltex Socceroos learn AFC Asian Cup 2019 opponents

The Caltex Socceroos discovered their Group Stage opponents for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ early on Saturday morning (AEST) when the official draw for Asia's top international football tournament took place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

At the iconic Burj Khalifa, Australia was pooled in Group B at next year's tournament alongside Syria from Pot 2, Palestine from Pot 3, and Jordan from Pot 4. 

Australia and Syria are well acquainted after the two nations faced off in FIFA World Cup qualification play-off matches in Melaka and Sydney last October.

Overall, Australia has played Syria on just two occasions in history, both in 2017, recording a win and a draw.

Mathew Leckie Syria
The Caltex Socceroos edged Syria in two tough clashes last year.

Palestine will be a new opponent for the Caltex Socceroos, as the two nations have never met as senior men's international level.

Palestine made their AFC Asian Cup debut in Australia in 2015, finishing fourth in Group D behind Japan, Iraq, and Jordan.

Australia and Jordan have played four times in history, with the results split down the middle with two wins to Australia, and two wins to Jordan.

Australia last played Jordan in Sydney in 2016, with the green and gold recording a 5-1 win that night.

Massimo Luongo Jordan
Massimo Luongo was on target against Jordan in 2016.

The Caltex Socceroos will be seeking to defend their AFC Asian Cup crown in the UAE early in 2019 when the first ever AFC Asian Cup with 24 teams is staged. The last four editions of the tournament have featured 16 teams.

Australia won their maiden AFC Asian Cup crown in 2015 on home soil when a goal from James Troisi in extra time of a thrilling Final helped lift the green and gold to victory over Korea Republic at a packed Stadium Australia in Sydney.

2019 will mark Australia's fourth participation at the AFC Asian Cup Finals (2007, 2011, 2015, 2019). 

Australia was represented at the official draw by Head of National Teams, Luke Casserly, as well as Caltex Socceroos Assistant Coach, Ante Milicic.

Eight venues in four cities (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Al Ain) will host matches at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.

The tournament will kick-off in Abu Dhabi on 5 January 2019, and conclude in the same city on 1 February 2019.