The Indian esports team at the AFC eAsian Cup qualified for the round of 16 of the tournament as the second-placed side from Group B, with Uzbekistan above it, in Doha on Friday.
The eTigers secured their spot after they won one (2-1) and lost (1-5) the second of the two matches against Syria.
The inaugural edition of the AFC eAsian Cup is being played on Konami’s eFootball 2024 on PlayStation 5 consoles, with 20 teams spread across six groups, fighting it out against each other.
Placed in Group B alongside Uzbekistan and Syria, the eTigers earned two 1-1 draws against Uzbekistan on Thursday. They thus booked their slot in the Round of 16s, finishing second in the group with five points to their name; Uzbekistan topped the group with eight.
India began both of Friday’s games with Hemanth Krishna Kommu and Ibrahim Gulrez in the 2v2 matchups, while Charanjot Singh was present as the substitute.
The eTigers began the encounters on a bright note, making Manvir Singh the focal point of their attacks. Two quick goals put them in the driver’s seat. While Syria did fight back with a late goal from Mohammad Al Hallak, India secured three points in the first game, and also booked their spot in the Round of 16.
The second match-up was all about the equations for India. A win by a margin of three or more goals would put India at the top of Group B. However, Syria fought back in the second match-up, despite an early goal from India (Ishan Pandita).
With a brace from Mahmoud Alaswad, and goals from Mohammad Al Hallak, Alaa Al Dali, and Ammar Ramadan, the Syrians won the match 5-1.
Despite the result in the second match-up, India’s qualification for the Round of 16 was already a foregone affair. The eTigers will now play the runners-ups of Group F in the Round of 16 on February 4, 2024.
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