Qatar won the last time the Asian Cup was organized. They emerged victorious by beating Japan, the four-time champions. This time, the defending champions are hosting the football tournament for the Asian region in hopes of retaining the title. Japan, on the other hand, is determined to reclaim what belongs to it.
However, other teams are gearing up as well, with the tournament scheduled to commence on January 12, 2024.
The first game will be played between Qatar and Lebanon. Qatar, the hosts, are expecting a couple of praises from locals to make things happen for them. Lebanon is looking to survive the first of three matchdays.
Japan is entering as a favorite. Their first game is against Vietnam on January 14, 2024. A total of six groups have been formed. So it happens that Japan and Qatar will not meet in the group stage. Four-time winners are aiming to top the table, and so are the hosts.
China was previously announced as the host of the Asian Cup; however, authorities withdrew their name from the list due to the country’s zero COVID policy. They will now face their current hosts, Lebanon and Tajikistan. Qatar has a chance to advance to the next round.
Aussies are looking to advance as well, posing a serious threat to India. Both teams will play their respective openers on January 13, 2024. Losing the football match against Australia will leave India with two final chances to move up the ladder. The same principle applies to Australians. Simply put, Australia versus India will set the tone for how Group B moves forward.
Hajime Moriyasu has played for Japan as a player. He has now been retained as a coach, destined to become the first Asian man to win the tournament as a player and as a coach. South Korea is on a spree to create history. The country has not held the Asian crown for 64 years. Juergen Klinsmann has expressed that he will leave no stone unturned to leave a mark on the history books.
Juergen is a German World Cup winner who is currently drafting plans to do wonders for South Korea.
Qatar, the hosts, played the World Cup qualifiers in the second round in November last year. They were pretty strong in both games—Afghanistan and India. Interestingly, the football game against Afghanistan painted a picture of how they can dominate the field at any moment. The final tally was 8-1 in their favor.
India was able to limit Qatar to a lower total before succumbing to their attack. The goalless 90-minute stretch was shocking, but it also allowed viewers to witness the defensive line’s strength.
Qatar last lost a football game against Jordan by 2-1.
Lebanon is coming off a 1-0 defeat against Saudi Arabia. They did win a game 2-1 against Jordan.
Lebanon and Qatar will open the football tournament, the Asian Cup, in Qatar, kickstarting the series of events that will go on until February 10, 2024.