Challenging Group D awaits Joeys in Malaysia

Australia’s U16 men’s national team will play Iraq, Korea Republic and Afghanistan in a challenging Group D at the 2018 AFC U16 Championship after the draw for the tournament was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.

At AFC House in Malaysia – the nation where this year’s tournament will be held – Australia discovered its opponents for the four group, 16-team biennial international youth football championship.

Australia’s Group D campaign is set to commence against Korea Republic on September 22. A clash against the defending AFC U16 Champions Iraq will take place on September 25, before Australia’s pool stage crusade concludes with a meeting with Afghanistan on September 28.

Australia will need to finish either first or second in Group D following the three matches to advance to the knockout stage of the competition. Should Australia U16 make the semi-finals of the 2018 AFC U16 Championship, Trevor Morgan’s team will book a place as one of Asia’s four representatives at the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup, which will be held in Peru.

The 2018 AFC U16 Championship will commence in Malaysia (venues to be announced) on September 20. The Final will be played on October 7.

Australia qualified for the 2018 AFC U16 Championship in Malaysia after topping Group I of the qualification phase in Mongolia last September. Australia finished ahead of Vietnam, Cambodia and Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar.

2018 AFC U16 Championship – Malaysia: 

Group A: Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Tajikistan
Group B: DPR Korea, Oman, Yemen, Jordan
Group C: IR Iran, Vietnam, India, Indonesia
Group D: Iraq, Korea Republic, Australia, Afghanistan