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After a glitzy opening ceremony, the 17th edition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup kicked off on Saturday, with hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) locking horns with Bahrain and settling with a 1-1 draw in a Group A clash at the Zayed Sports City Stadium.

A total of 24 team are participating in the AFC’s continental showpiece tournament, which will run till Februrary 1. It is for the first time that 24 teams are featuring in the event in contrast to the previous format of 16 nations. These teams have been divided into six groups of four teams each.

The two top sides from each of the six groups as well as four third-placed teams will make it to the Round of 16.

India, who have been drawn alongside hosts UAE, Bahrain and Thailand in Group A, will kick start their campaign against Thailand at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Sunday.

India, who are currently ranked 97th in the world, have played against Thailand 24 times, with the former winning five of them while the remaining seven were drawn.

Holders Australia, four-time champions Japan, and Asia’s highest-ranked team, Iran, are among the favourites to lift the trophy in the ongoing tournament.

Here is the complete schedule and match timings of 2019 AFC Asia Cup: 

Group A: UAE, Bahrain, India, Thailand

Group B: Australia, Syria, Jordan, Palestine

Group C: South Korea, China, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines

Group D: Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Yemen

Group E: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, North Korea

Group F: Japan, Uzbekistan, Oman, Turkmenistan

January 5

Group A: UAE vs Bahrain (9:30 pm)

January 6

Group B: Australia vs Jordan (4:30 pm)

Group A : India vs Thailand (7 pm)

Group B: Syria vs Palestine (9:30 pm)

January 7

Group C: China vs Kyrgyzstan (4.30 pm)

Group C: South Korea vs Philippines (7 pm)

January 8

Group D: Iraq vs Vietnam (7 pm)

Group E : Saudi Arabia vs North Korea (9.30 pm)

January 9

Group F :Japan vs Turkmenistan (4:30 pm)

Group F : Uzbekistan vs Oman (7 pm)

Group E  Qatar vs Lebanon (9.30 pm)

January 10

Group A: Bahrain vs Thailand (4:30 pm)

Group B: Jordan vs Syria (7 pm)

Group A: India vs UAE (9:30 pm)

January 11

Group B: Palestine vs Australia (4:30 pm)

Group C: Philippines vs China (7 pm)

Group C: Kyrgyzstan vs South Korea (9:30 pm)

January 12

Vietnam vs Iran (4:30 pm)

Yemen vs Iraq (7 pm)

Lebanon vs Saudi Arabia (9:30 pm)

January 13

Group E: North Korea vs Qatar (4:30 pm)

Group F: Oman vs Japan (7 pm)

Group F: Turkmenistan vs Uzbekistan (9:30 pm)

January 14

Group A: UAE vs Thailand (9.30 pm)

Group A: India vs Bahrain (9.30 pm)

January 15

Group B: Palestine vs Jordan (7 pm)

Group B: Australia vs Syria  (7 pm)

January 16

Group C: South Korea vs China (7 pm)

Group C: Kyrgyzstan vs Philippines (7 pm)

Group D: Vietnam vs Yemen (9.30 pm)

Group D: Iran vs Iraq (9.30 pm)

January 17

Group F : Oman vs Tukmenistan (7 pm)

Group F : Japan vs Uzbekistan (7 pm)

Group E : Lebanon vs North Korea (9.30 pm)

Group E : Saudi Arabia vs Qatar (9.30 pm)

Round of 16

January 20 (Three matches)

January 21 (Three matches)

January 22 (Two matches)

Quarter-final – January 24 and 25

Semi-final – January 28 and 29

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