The qualification round of the 2022 AFC U23 Championship will be held in October and the final tournament will be hosted by Uzbekistan…
India are all set to take part in the qualification round of the 2022 AFC U23 Championship which will be held between October 27 to October 31 and the final competition is expected to be held in Uzbekistan in 2022.
The tournament was started in January 2014 and so far four editions of the competition have been held. India, unfortunately, have never managed to make it past the qualifying group stages. India’s best-ever performance in the qualifying round of the AFC U23 Championship was in the inaugural edition of the competition where they secured seven points in the five games and had scored 11 goals in the tournament.
In the 2016 and 2020 qualification rounds, India failed to secure any points. And in 2016, the Blue Tigers did not score a single goal in the group matches. Here’s how the Blue Tigers have performed in the AFC U23 Championship.
How have India performed in the AFC U23 Championships?
India have appeared in the qualification rounds of all four previous editions of the AFC U23 Championships but never managed to go past the qualifying group stage and make it to the final tournament.
2013 AFC U23 Championship qualification
India were placed in Group A of the qualification round West Zone alongside Iraq, UAE, Oman, Lebanon and Turkmenistan. The Blue Tigers managed to pick up seven points from five games and finished fourth in the group thereby getting ousted from the competition.
India won only two matches during the campaign – 5-2 against Lebanon and 4-1 against Turkmenistan. They drew 1-1 with UAE and lost to UAE and Oman. Former Dempo and Bengaluru FC attacker Alwyn George was the top scorer for India with four goals, followed Jeje Lalpekhlua who scored three.
2016 AFC U23 Championship qualification
India were clubbed in Group E in the qualification round along with Syria, Uzbekistan and Bangladesh. The India colts lost their opening two matches against Uzbekistan and Syria 2-0 and 4-0 respectively and managed to hold Bangladesh to a goalless draw in their last group game.
The Indians returned from the competition without scoring a single goal in the qualification round.
2018 AFC U23 Championship qualification
In the 2018 AFC U23 Championship qualification round, India were placed in Group C alongside Qatar, Syria and Turkmenistan. India began their campaign with a 2-0 defeat against Syria followed by a 1-0 defeat to Qatar. In their last match, they thrashed Turkmenistan 3-1. Manvir Singh, Alen Deory and Jerry Lalrinzuala were on target for India.
The Blue colts finished third in the group and were ousted from the competition. They managed to score three goals and conceded four.
2020 AFC U23 Championship qualification
In the qualification round of the last edition of the AFC U23 Championship, India were placed in Group FC alongside hosts Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan. But before the qualifying round began, Pakistan withdrew their team from the competition.
India lost both their ties in the group stage 3-0 to Uzbekistan and 2-0 to Tajikistan and returned home without scoring a single goal or registering any point.