India to play Afghanistan in AFC Challenger opener
Kuala Lumpur, Mar 5 (UNI) SAFF champions India will take on Afghanistan in Chittagong while hosts Bangladesh play against Cambodia on the first day of the inaugural AFC Challenger Cup on April 1.
The other teams in action on the opening day of the tournament are Chinese Taipei, who play the Philippines, and Palestine who will face Guam.
Sixteen teams from the AFC's 'emerging countries' are vying for honours in the nine-day tournament and they have been split into four groups.
While India, Chinese Taipei, the Philippines and Afghanistan are in Group A, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Brunei have been placed in Group B. Both these groups will play their matches at the M A Aziz Stadium in Chittagong.
Group C comprises hosts Bangladesh, Palestine, Cambodia and Guam while Group D has Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Macau. They will play at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka.
Two group matches will be played at the two venues every day from April 1 to 6.
In the quarterfinals, the winners of Group C will play the runners-up from Group D at Dhaka on April 8 while the Group B toppers clash with the Group A runners-up in Chittagong the same day.
On April 9, the Group A winners play the Group B runners-up in Chittagong while the Group D toppers clash with Group C runners-up in Dhaka for a place in the last four.
The first semifinal will be played on April 12 in Chittagong and the second semifinal on April 13 in Dhaka.
The final takes place on April 16 in Dhaka.
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