Analysis

Asian Games champions South Korea drawn with Malaysia, Vietnam face Japan

Malaysia have been drawn into Group E with men’s football defending champions South Korea at the 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.

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The men’s football draw concluded on July 5 and threw up some tantalising clashes in each group.

Group A will see Indonesia go up against Hong Kong, Laos and Chinese Taipei while Group B houses Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh and Qatar.

Group C sees Iraq, China, Syria and Timor-Leste battle it out and in Group D, Asian powerhouse Japan must get past Vietnam, Pakistan and Nepal.

Group E is one of the toughest groups with reigning champions South Korea facing off against Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain and Malaysia.

In Group F, 2014 silver medalists North Korea will contend with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Myanmar.

The 2014 final saw South Korea seal a 1-0 victory over North Korea in the second period of extra time while Iraq walked away with the bronze medal by defeating Thailand with a similar scoreline.

South Korea will seek to retain their gold medal status when the Games kicks off in Palembang, Indonesia on August 14 with the men’s football final scheduled for September 1.

All nations will be represented by a U-23 squad with three overaged players and the top two from each group will advance to the knockout stages. The four best third-placed teams will join them in the Round of 16.

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