Asian Cup being held for first time outside Asian continent

Asian Cup being held for first time outside Asian continent
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Published January 5th, 2015 - 14:09 GMT via

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Asian Cup 2015 logo
Asian Cup 2015 logo

The 2015 Asian Cup is being held in five cities in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle.

Sixteen teams are taking part in the tournament which begins on Friday January 9 with the opening game between hosts Australia and Kuwait in Melbourne. The final is at Stadium Australia in Sydney on January 31.

It will be the 16th edition of the Asian Cup, first held in Hong Kong in 1956. The winning team automatically qualifies as Asian champions for the 2017 Confederations Cup, to be played in Russia, the 2018 World Cup hosts.

The 2015 Asian Cup will be the first time the tournament will be hosted outside the continent of Asia.

Australia, who qualified automatically as hosts, joined the Asian Football Confederation in January 2006 and have appeared twice pviously at the tournament, in 2007 and 2011.

Teams have been drawn into four groups of four for the group stage - Group A: Australia, South Korea, Oman and Kuwait; Group B: Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea; Group C: Iran, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain; Group D; Japan, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine.

The top two teams in each group advance to the knock-out stage, with quarter-final matches on January 22 and 23. The semi-finals will be held in Sydney on January 26 and Newcastle on January 27, and the match for third place in Newcastle on January 30.

In the 2011 final in Doha, Qatar, Japan beat Australia 1-0 after extra-time.

© 2014 dpa GmbH

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