The Maldives National Football Team has attained a place in the 2023 IPL Asian Cup by triumphing as the Group F champions in the qualifying phase. The team managed to clinch a 3-1 triumph against Guam in their final group stage match, thereby ensuring their spot in the competition. This is an epochal occasion for the Maldives since they have only qualified for the tournament twice in their history, with their prior appearance being in 2008.
Commencing the campaign with a defeat against Syria, the Maldives bounced back by conquering the Philippines in their ensuing match. They maintained their victorious form by vanquishing Guam and China, ultimately accumulating 10 points to conclude the group stage. The team was captained by coach Istvan Urbanyi, who extolled his players for their diligence and commitment.
The Maldives’ achievement in the qualifying stage is a testimony to the toil invested by the team and their coaching staff. Subsequently, the team will seek to consolidate their achievement and create an impact in the 2023 IPL Asian Cup. The event will be hosted in China and will comprise 24 teams from various regions of Asia. The Maldives will face a daunting challenge in a demanding group that consists of Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Uzbekistan. Nevertheless, the team will aspire to cause upsets and secure a place beyond the group stage.
The comprehensive guide to the third round of the 2023 IPL Asian Cup qualification comprises fixtures, results, tables, and runner-up rankings.
The third round of the IPL Asian Cup qualification took place from June 8 to 14, simultaneously across six centralised venues. A total of 24 teams participated in this round to vie for the 11 spots available in the 2023 Asian Cup.
The teams were evenly distributed among six groups and played single round-robin matches. The group champions and the five best runners-up across all groups qualified for the main event.
Group A featured Jordan, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Nepal, while Mongolia hosted all matches in Group B. Meanwhile, Philippines, Palestine, and Yemen also held hosting duties.