India brace for tough group placing at AFC U-16 Championship

THE DRAW FOR AFC U-16 Championship will see the Indian Colts potentially line up for a tough challenge at the group stage.

The team-sorting event will take place in Kuala Lumpur on 18th October, while the tournament itself is scheduled to take place in Bahrain from 16th September to 3rd October.

India reached the quarter finals of the tournament in 2018, which is the highest finish they've had, along with another top eight finish back in 2002.

Being on pot 3, India will face two potentially stronger opponents in the group stage and face a tough challenge in their quest to progress to the next level by finishing top two in the group.

The pot allocations are as follows:

Pot 1: Bahrain (hosts), Japan, Tajikistan, South Korea
Pot 2: Australia, North Korea, Indonesia, Oman
Pot 3: India, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
Pot 4: China PR, Uzbekistan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates

One team from each pot will be placed into every group.

With Bibiano Fernandes as the head coach, the Indian Colts have put on a strong performance throughout 2019, winning SAFF U-15 Championship in dominant fashion and going unbeaten through the whole AFC U-16 Qualifiers; beating Turkmenistan and Bahrain 5-0 before drawing Uzbekistan 1-1.

This team carries high hopes from the Indian football fans as one of the most talented youth teams produced by the country in the modern era. 

If this team succeeds in entering the semi-finals, they'll become the first Indian team to qualify for a World Cup on merit.

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