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AFC Asian Cup

List of teams that have qualified for AFC Asian Cup round of 16 in their maiden appearance in 21st century

Published at :January 23, 2024 at 5:20 PM
Modified at :January 23, 2024 at 5:20 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC)

Gourav Samal

Tajikistan became the fourth team in 21st century to qualify for the AFC Asian Cup RO16 in their maiden appearance.

After emerging victorious in their final group stage fixture of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, with a 2-1 win over Lebanon at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar on January 22, 2024, Tajikistan solidified their position as the fourth team to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament in their debut appearance. 

Earlier three other teams- Jordan, Australia and Kyrgyzstan, have progressed to the knockout stage in their respective debut appearance years. Besides gaining entry into an exclusive club, Tajikistan has become the second team this year to advance to the knockout stage, following in the footsteps of Qatar, which were the first from Group A.

In this article we will take a look at the teams who made it to the knockout stage of the AFC Asian Cup in their debut year of appearance. 

Jordan (2004)

In the 2004 AFC Asian Cup, three teams participated in the tournament for the first time. Besides Jordan, Oman and Turkmenistan were also among the debutant teams.

While Oman and Turkmenistan were eliminated from the group stage, Jordan progressed to the next round by securing a 2-0 victory against Kuwait and settling with a draw in the remaining two matches against South Korea and the United Arab Emirates in Group B. 

South Korea was the other team in Jordan’s group that secured the top position and advanced to the knockout stage from Group B. Regrettably, despite Jordan putting up a strong fight against Japan in the knockout stage and ending the designated time with a 1-1 tie, they ultimately lost the match in a penalty shootout.

Australia (2007)

Australia made its inaugural appearance in the AFC Asian Cup in 2007. The team was grouped with Iraq, Thailand, and Oman in Group A.

Their first match in the group stage concluded in a draw against Oman, with 1-1 goals. Subsequently, they encountered a defeat against Iraq in their second match. However, they displayed resilience and secured a resounding 4-0 victory against Thailand, concluding the group stage in second place behind Iraq with four points from three matches.

They faced Japan in the knockout stage. The match proceeded to the penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regular time. Japan emerged victorious, ending their dream run with a 4-3 scoreline in the penalty round.

Kyrgyzstan (2019)

In 2019, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines and Yemen all made their debut in the AFC Asian Cup. However, while Kyrgyzstan progressed to the knockout stage, the other two teams concluded their campaign at the group stage.

Kyrgyzstan was placed in Group C of the tournament, alongside South Korea, China and the Philippines. Their sole victory in the group stage was against the Philippines, whom they defeated with a score of 3-1. 

Consequently, they finished in third place within the group, following South Korea and China. However, their overall performance enabled them to advance to the knockout stage, as they ranked as the second best third-placed team amongst the other five.

In the knockout stage, Kyrgyzstan competed against the United Arab Emirates. Despite the thrilling performance displayed by both teams, Kyrgyzstan was defeated with a score of 3-2.

Tajikistan (2023)

Tajikistan team after qualifying for RO16. (Courtesy: AFC)

Tajikistan has been added to the list following the conclusion of their group stage campaign, where they finished in second place behind Qatar in Group A, a group that also included China and Lebanon.

The team commenced their campaign with a goalless draw against China, followed by a 0-1 defeat against Qatar in their second match. However, they displayed resilience and emerged victorious with a 2-1 win over Lebanon, securing their advancement to the subsequent stage.

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