AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 hosts Australia will face off against two-time continental champions Korea Republic after the draw for next year’s finals was made at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday evening. Oman and 1980 winners Kuwait round out Group A of the AFC Asian Cup, with the Australians facing Kuwait in the opening game of the tournament on January 9 at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. Defending champions Japan, who defeated the Australians in the final of the 2011 tournament in Qatar, have been drawn in Group D, where they will take on Jordan, 2007 champions Iraq and the winners of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, which will be played in the Maldives in May. IR Iran, who have won the title on three occasions, head up Group C where they will take part in an all Middle Eastern group also comprising the United Arab Emirates, finalists in 1996, Qatar and Bahrain. Uzbekistan, semi-finalists in 2011, are the top seeds in Group B, where they meet three-time winners Saudi Arabia, two-time finalists China PR and 2012 AFC Challenge Cup winners DPR Korea. The tournament will kick off on January 9, with the final to be played at Stadium Australia on January 31.
The Draw was watched by an estimated 40 million people across Asia and featured high quality entertainment including X-Factor winner Dami Im.
Final Groups: Group A: Australia, Korea Republic, Oman, Kuwait Group B: Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, China PR, DPR Korea Group C: IR Iran, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain Group D: Japan, Jordan, Iraq, AFC Challenge Cup 2014 winners.
Published in Indian magazine, Australia