The Indian football team has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup for the second consecutive time after Palestine’s 4-0 victory over the Philippines. India beat Afghanistan 2-1 after a resounding 2-0 win over Cambodia in their last two Asian Cup qualifiers.
The result meant that the Palestinians qualified directly for the 24 teams finishing top of the group, while the Philippines, second, with four points, were eliminated despite their second place.
Only the winners of the six qualifying groups are guaranteed to advance to the tournament proper, where they will be joined by the top five second-placed teams in the respective groups.
India, who are second to Hong Kong (six points) on goal difference, qualified ahead of their last-round Group D clash.
It is the first time that India have qualified for the Asian Cup in two successive editions, having left the group league in the 2019 edition.
Overall, India has qualified for the continental showpiece for the fifth time – 1964, 1984, 2011, 2019 and now in 2023.
(With PTI inputs)