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The Asian Cup 2023 Squads That Have Advanced To The Knockout Stage

The 18th edition of the AFC Asian Cup is nearing the finish of its group stage matches, as scheduled. Currently, 16 of the 24 participating clubs have unquestionable spots in the knockout round, having finished first or second in each of the six groups. Four third-place finishers are expected to join this side, indicating that there will be plenty of action to enjoy before the final matchday. The competitive nature of the tournament has already carried away the world of football, and many punters are closely following the games while engaging in online sports betting. Here is the progress so far: 

Group A Qualifiers

Impressive wins have propelled Qatar and Tajikistan to the top of this group, allowing them to advance to the knockout stage. Qatar, as the host squad, has received overwhelming support from supporters. The team worked hard to win all three matches. Surprisingly, none of its rivals have scored against it. Tajikistan has been nearly as impressive, coming from last place to advance to the next round in their maiden event. China is in third place and could be ousted in the next round, while Lebanon has already been sent packing.

Group B Qualifiers

In the second group, Australia has pushed hard to finish first. However, despite qualifying for the round of 16, its position in the group remains to be determined. The team’s performance against Uzbekistan on January 23rd will decide whether or not it finishes first or second. Syria will need to win its match against India to earn third place. The win must be clean, with at least four goals to compensate for the goal difference. India, which is considered one of the finest in this rating, appears to have an easier time securing third place. 

Group C Qualifiers

The first and second positions in this group are still to be confirmed. However, Iran has a chance to top the table if it wins or draws against the UAE. The UAE might finish first if they win this match, but a loss would qualify them for the next round as the second place finisher. Palestine and Hong Kong will compete to determine who will finish third and who is to be eliminated. 

Group D Qualifiers

Iraq has already qualified for the round of 16 in the fourth group after defeating Japan. Its dominant position is strengthened by Indonesia’s victory over Vietnam, which provides Iraq with a significant advantage over other teams. Japan’s fate in advancing to the next round is in the balance.  It will need to draw or win the match against Indonesia. Indonesia has an identical chance of qualifying if it wins its match against Japan. Vietnam is the final placeholder in this group, and their fate in the 2023 Asia Cup is assured. 

Group E Qualifiers

This group’s leaders have yet to be identified. On the other hand, Jordan could win Group E if it beats Bahrain and South Korea either loses or ties Malaysia. South Korea’s fate is more predictable, as it only needs to tie the match against Malaysia and can only fail if it loses and Bahrain wins decisively over Jordan. Bahrain still has a chance to win the group if it defeats Jordan and South Korea draws or loses to Malaysia. Interestingly, in this group, Bahrain, South Korea, and Bahrain all have the potential to finish third, whereas Malaysia might be eliminated with two defeats. 

Group F Qualifiers 

Saudi Arabia has already qualified for the next round, as it presently leads the group’s table. Thailand’s position will be solid whether they win or draw. However, if Thailand defeats Saudi Arabia convincingly, it has a chance to top the table. Oman also has the opportunity to change its fate by winning the next match against the Kyrgyz Republic. It would be better for them if Thailand lost to Saudi Arabia. The Kyrgyz Republic has a chance to save itself from elimination by defeating Oman, which might propel it to third place. 

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Asia Cup appears to be more competitive this year, as the narrow win margins indicate. Numerous teams still have the potential to rise or fall from their current rankings, or fail to advance beyond the round of 16. We should expect upsets in the group stage’s closing stages and more action in the vicious elimination stage. Several of the yet-to-be-determined qualifiers already indicate the best of this competition is yet to come. It’s too soon to determine who has a better chance of winning the cup.