FIFA Futsal World Cup – Colombia 2016 Draw

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AFC – MEDELLIN, The pathway for the five AFC Member Associations looking to become the first Asian nation to win the FIFA Futsal World Cup was unveiled on Thursday at the draw for the group stage of Colombia 2016.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, Uzbekistan, Thailand and Vietnam – the top-four finishers at the 2016 AFC Futsal Championship – and Australia, the winner of the play-off between the four losing quarter-finalists at last February’s continental competition in Tashkent, joined 19 other nations in the draw for the eighth edition of world futsal’s biggest tournament.

Vietnam booked their place at the finals of a FIFA tournament for the first time after recording a stunning win over defending champions Japan in the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC Futsal Championship. And the ASEAN side will take on Guatemala in their historic first match in the FIFA Futsal World Cup after being pooled with the Central Americans in Group C, which also features 2004 finalists Italy and Paraguay, who are taking part in their sixth finals.

Like Vietnam, Uzbekistan are also appearing at the FIFA Futal World Cup for the first time, with the 2016 AFC Futsal Championship hosts and runners-up playing their maiden fixture against Panama, who reached the Round of 16 at Thailand 2012 in their tournament debut. The Central Asians then face the daunting prospect of taking on hosts Colombia before rounding off their Group campaign against five-time qualifiers Portugal, third-place finishers at the end of their tournament debut at Guatemala 2000.

Asian fustal superpower Iran, who defeated the Uzbeks on home soil earlier in 2016 to claim their 11th continental crown (pictured), have been pooled in a tough-looking Group C alongside two-time world champions Spain, African champions Morocco, and tournament debutants Azerbaijan, while Thailand, the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup hosts who reached the Round of 16 at the last edition of the global tournament, have been drawn in Group B, where the 12-time ASEAN champions have Russia, Cuba, and Egypt for company.

But the AFC representative that has the toughest match of the group stage is undoubtedly Australia, with the Futsalroos drawn in Group D with five-time world champions Brazil. In addition to A Sele̤̣o Рwho have yet to taste defeat in the 24 FIFA Futsal World Cup matches they have played since losing the 200 final to Spain РAustralia will face newcomers Mozambique as well as renewing acquaintances with Ukraine, who defeated the Australians 11-2 on their tournament debut in 1996, a FIFA Futsal World Cup record win for the most goals scored by a team in their maiden match.

Draw Results:

GROUP A
A1 – Colombia
A2 – Portugal
A3 – Uzbekistan
A4 – Panama

10/09/16 Colombia v Portugal
10/09/16 Uzbekistan v Panama
13/09/16 Colombia v Uzbekistan
13/09/16 Panama v Portugal
16/09/16 Panama v Colombia
16/09/16 Portugal v Uzbekistan

GROUP B
B1 – Thailand
B2 – Russia
B3 – Cuba
B4 – Egypt

10/09/16 Thailand v Russia
10/09/16 Cuba v Egypt
13/09/16 Thailand v Cuba
13/09/16 Egypt v Russia
16/09/16 Egypt v Thailand
16/09/16 Russia v Cuba

GROUP C
C1 – Paraguay
C2 – Italy
C3 – Vietnam
C4 – Guatemala

11/09/16 Paraguay v Italy
11/09/16 Vietnam v Guatemala
14/09/16 Paraguay v Vietnam
14/09/16 Guatemala v Italy
17/09/16 Guatemala v Paraguay
17/09/16 Italy v Vietnam

GROUP D
D1 – Ukraine
D2 – Brazil
D3 – Mozambique
D4 – Australia

11/09/16 Ukraine v Brazil
11/09/16 Mozambique v Australia
14/09/16 Ukraine v Mozambique
14/09/16 Australia v Brazil
17/09/16 Australia v Ukraine
17/09/16 Brazil v Mozambique

GROUP E
E1 – Argentina
E2 – Kazakhstan
E3 – Solomon Islands
E4 – Costa Rica

12/09/16 Argentina v Kazakhstan
12/09/16 Solomon Islands v Costa Rica
15/09/16 Argentina v Solomon Islands
15/09/16 Costa Rica v Kazakhstan
18/09/16 Costa Rica v Argentina
18/09/16 Kazakhstan v Solomon Islands

GROUP F
F1 – Islamic Republic of Iran
F2 – Spain
F3 – Morocco
F4 – Azerbaijan

12/09/16 Islamic Republic of Iran v Spain
12/09/16 Morocco v Azerbaijan
15/09/16 Islamic Republic of Iran v Morocco
15/09/16 Azerbaijan v Spain
18/09/16 Azerbaijan v Islamic Republic of Iran
18/09/16 Spain v Morocco

The top two from each group and the four best third-ranked teams will advance to the Round of 16, with matches taking place on September 20, 21, and 22. The final and third-place playoff will be held on October 1 at the Coliseo El Pueblo in Cali.


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