Malaysia, Indonesia kept apart; Vietnam handed tough tests in AFC U-19 Championship

Fierce rivals Malaysia and Indonesia have been kept apart in the group stage of the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship after the draw for the tournament was made on Thursday afternoon.

The Southeast Asian neighbours share a longstanding and volatile rivalry and can now dream of potentially meeting in the latter stages of the tournament, which will take place in Uzbekistan from October 14 to 31.

Indonesia, who did well to reach the quarter-finals of the previous edition in 2018, were drawn alongside the hosts, as well as Cambodia and Iran in Group A.

Meanwhile, the Malaysians will be pitted against Qatar, Tajikistan and Yemen in Group D. Fellow Southeast Asian nation Vietnam were not as fortunate with the draw after being put into Group C, where they will two traditional heavyweights in Saudi Arabia and Australia, along with Laos.

Group B also promises plenty of drama with Korea Republic, Japan and Iraq boasting 18 titles between them, with Bahrain completing the lineup.

Earlier in the day, the draw for the 2020 AFC U-16 Championship was also conducted at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, and Indonesia will have it all to do if they are to go far after being drawn in a fearsome Group D alongside Asian giants Japan, Saudi Arabia and China PR.

The U-16 Championship will be held in Bahrain from November 25 to December 12 and, despite their status as second seeds following an impressive qualification campaign, the luck of the draw did not favour Indonesia.

Despite their status as second seeds following an impressive qualification campaign, the luck of the draw did not favour Indonesia.

In defending champions Japan, Saudi Arabia and China, the Indonesians will come up against three teams who have combined for seven titles in tournament history.

In what is promising to an intriguing competition, Group C has also delivered some tantalising match-ups in the form of Korea Republic, Australia, India and Uzbekistan.

The South Koreans are two-time winners from 1986 and 2002, while Uzbekistan emerged triumphant back inn 2012.

Meanwhile, hosts Bahrain find themselves in Group A alongside DPR Korea, Iran and Qatar, while Group B will see 2018 runners-up Tajikistan face off against Oman, Yemen and United Arab Emirates.

2020 AFC U-19 Championship Draw

Group A: Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Iran
Group B: Korea Republic, Japan, Iraq, Bahrain
Group C: Saudi Arabia, Australia, Vietnam, Laos
Group D: Qatar, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Yemen

2020 AFC U-16 Championship Draw

Group A: Bahrain, DPR Korea, Iran, Qatar
Group B: Tajikistan, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates
Group C: Korea Republic, Australia, India, Uzbekistan
Group D: Japan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, China PR