Indian football team qualifies for 2018 AFC U-16 C’ships

India was placed in Group D along with Iraq, Palestine and host Nepal. It beat Palestine (3-0) and drew against Nepal (2-2) and group topper Iraq (0-0) to collect five points and finish second.

A complicated system was used to determine the five best second-placed teams as the groups had different number of teams and United Arab Emirates withdrew from Group E before the tournament.   -  AFP

Indian football team today qualified for the AFC U-16 Championship to be held next year in Malaysia after finishing second in its group qualifying round played in Kathmandu.

India qualified as one of the six best second-placed teams from the group matches of qualifying round. All the matches of each of the 10 groups were played at a single venue.

India was placed in Group D along with Iraq, Palestine and host Nepal. It beat Palestine (3-0) and drew against Nepal (2-2) and group topper Iraq (0-0) to collect five points and finish second.

The Indian team had completed its group qualifying round campaign on September 24 and was awaiting the results of the other groups.

With South Korea beating China 1-0 to win Group H in Yangon, the best six second-placed teams in each group were spotted and India found itself as one of the qualified teams.

Besides India, the other five best second-placed teams to qualify for the 2018 AFC U-16 Championships are Oman (Group B), Thailand (Group G), Vietnam (Group I) and Afghanistan (Group C). Malaysia qualified as host country.

All the winners of the 10 groups — South Korea, Australia, North Korea, Japan, Jordan, Iraq, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Tajikistan and Yemen — qualified while host Malaysia qualified automatically.

A complicated system was used to determine the five best second-placed teams as the groups had different number of teams and United Arab Emirates withdrew from Group E before the tournament.

The results against the fifth and fourth-placed teams in five and four-team groups were not considered in determining the five best second-placed teams.

So, Saudi Arabia (which finished second in Group A with nine points), Hong Kong (who finished second in Group F with six points) and China (who finished second in Group H with six points) did not qualify for the 2018 AFC U-16 Championships.

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