ASEAN sides handed tough tests in final round of AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers

Indonesia and Thailand, who contested the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 final, both discovered their upcoming opponents in the final round of qualifiers for AFC Asian Cup 2023 following Thursday's draw. AP Photo/Suhaimi Abdullah

Southeast Asia's hopefuls will have plenty to do if they are to feature at AFC Asian Cup 2023, after the draw for the final round of qualifiers was made on Thursday afternoon.

With 13 teams already through to next year's tournament in China, another 11 spots remain up for grabs at Asian football's showpiece event -- with the final qualification round to take place in June in centralised venues.

- AFF U-23 Championship has delivered as one for the underdogs
- Malaysia to meet Vietnam, Thailand at AFC U-23 Asian Cup
- Don't miss The John Dykes Show, with all new episodes each Friday on Disney + and Disney+ Hotstar. Click here to join the conversation!

From the remaining 24 teams, only the six group winners will claim an automatic berth and they will be joined by the five best runners-up, meaning one second-placed team will miss out.

Thailand, one of three Southeast Asian teams that featured in United Arab Emirates last time out, find themselves in Group C and will have to contend with the might of Uzbekistan, although they will be expected to see off Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Philippines, who made their tournament debut in 2019, should also be fancying their chances in Group B against Palestine, Yemen and Mongolia.

However, the road to the Asian Cup looks significantly trickier for some of ASEAN football's other contenders.

Indonesia, runners-up at AFF Suzuki Cup 2020, will be optimistic in overcoming Nepal but have two tough tests against Jordan and Kuwait in Group A.

Malaysia, one of the six host venues, have been drawn in Group E alongside Bahrain, Turkmenistan and Bangladesh, while neighbours Singapore will take on Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Myanmar in Group F.

AFC Asian Cup 2023 third-round qualifying draw
Group A: Jordan, Kuwait (hosts), Indonesia, Nepal
Group B: Palestine, Philippines, Yemen, Mongolia (hosts)
Group C: Uzbekistan (hosts), Thailand, Maldives, Sri Lanka
Group D: India (hosts), Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Cambodia
Group E: Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Malaysia (hosts), Bangladesh
Group F: Krygyz Republic (hosts), Tajikistan, Myanmar, Singapore