AFC U23 Championship: Oman clubbed with Iran

Oman has been clubbed with stalwart Iran, hosts Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka in Group A of the AFC U23 Championship qualifying draw that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday.

A total of 40 nations will compete in the qualifiers for the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China.

Oman, coached by Hamad al Azzani, will take on hosts Kyrgyzstan in the opening clash in Bishkek on July 19, the same day when Iran meets Sri Lanka.

The ten group winners and five best second-placed teams among all the groups will advance to the finals.

The qualifiers will take place from July 19-23. Besides Kyrgyzstan, the other qualifiers will be held in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Palestine, Myanmar, North Korea, Thailand and China.

Although directly qualified as the finals host, China has expressed interest to participate in the qualifying stage.

If China finishes on top of its group or finishes among the five best second-placed teams, the next (sixth) second-placed team will qualify for the final stage of the competition, to be played in January next year.

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