The 2015 Asian Cup groups have been drawn and Australia have been drawn in what may probably be the group of death as they have drawn Korea, Oman and Kuwait in the draw at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday night.
Australia were the weakest ranked team in Pot 1, only earning their space in pot 1 by being the hosts, while Korea were the team pushed in to Pot 2.
The other two pots saw Group A gain the highest ranked of each pot, with Oman ranked 81st, the highest in pot 2 and Kuwait at 110 the highest ranked of pot 3.
Group B is also looking challenging, containing Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, China and DPR Korea, setting up a number of mouth watering encounters.
Iran lead an all-Gulf Group C as they’ll have to face UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, with Qatar likely to be an unpopular team in Australia following the 2022 World Cup bid.
Group D looms as an interesting group, while Japan will be heavy favourites but will need to be weary as they take on a rising Jordan, 2007 champions Iraq and the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup winner, which could well be Palestine who have been on an impressive rise.
Such has been Australia’s term in the Asian Football Confederation that they now have bvast experience against all three teams, having played Kuwait and Korea on the way to the 2011 Asian Cup Final.
Kuwait were opponents in the qualifying stages and in the second match in Kuwait City Australia could only manage a 2-2 draw.
The Korean match marks a rematch between two teams that were drawn together I the Asian Cup in 2011 with Australia victorious on that occasion.
Oman have played Australia just seven times, and have only managed one win, despite being the highest ranked side in Pot 3, the Socceroos will be confident of a win in that match.
The tournament will open on the 9th of January 2015 with Australia taking on Kuwait at AAMI Park, although due to restrictions of sponsorship at the Asian Cup venues will be called by generic names, and thus Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Australia’s match against Korea will be the last match of the group and be played January 17th at Suncorp Stadium (known as Brisbane Stadium).
Brisbane has proven to be a definite winner from the draw, securing some big games with Saudi Arabia v China on the 10th and Iran v UAE on the 19th.
The other big match that Brisbane has takes place on the 16th when the two most recent champions, Iraq from 2007 and Japan from 2011 play off in the group stage.
The quarter finals will be played in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra , while the Semi-Final Australia would potentially be in will be in Sydney on Australia Day while the other Semi-Final will be one day later in Newcastle.
The Final takes place at Stadium Australia on the 31st of January, leading to the potential for that ground to become another important part of Australian Football history.