Qantas Socceroos drawn in Group C for AFC Asian Cup 2011

The Qantas Socceroos have been drawn with Bahrain, India and Korea Republic in Group C of next year's tournament.

The Qantas Socceroos have been placed alongside Bahrain, India and the Korea Republic in Group C of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 following last night-s draw at the Aspire Dome in Doha.

The Qantas Socceroos were seeded in the second tier of teams for the tournament and were placed in the C3 position of the groups.

FFA National Technical Director Han Berger, who was in Doha for the draw, described the Qantas Socceroos draw as “interesting”.

“It-s an interesting group. But then, all groups are interesting. Nobody will have it easy at the Finals. Australia will have to deliver consistently to excel in the tournament,” said Berger.

“Korea Republic are one of the strongest sides in the continent and have been regularly featuring in the World Cup finals since 1986. They-ll be a strong opponent.

“Then there-s Bahrain. We played a few times against the Gulf nation during the 2010 Asian Zone World Cup qualification and it was never easy. They too will raise a strong challenge.

“India are newcomers. Frankly speaking, we don-t know much about them. But they-ve qualified for the tournament by winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup and that shows that they too are capable of playing at this level. We look forward to the finals in Qatar and want to better our record this time around,” concluded Berger.

The Qantas Socceroos will face India in their opening match, followed by the Korea Republic with their final group match against Bahrain.

The Qantas Socceroos have played India at senior men-s international level on seven occasions and last played each other back in 1956 in a friendly match in Sydney following the Melbourne Olympic Games.

The Qantas Socceroos are undefeated against Bahrain having beaten the Gulf Nation twice during the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualification stage and twice during the AFC Asian Cup 2007 Qualifiers.

The Qantas Socceroos have faced the Korea Republic in 23 fixtures including their most recent friendly match in Seoul last year where the hosts won 3-1.

Host Nation Qatar will face Uzbekistan in the opening match of the tournament on the 7th January.