AFC U-19 Championships Qualifiers: How have India fared over the years?

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With India set to take on Saudi Arabia in its first qualifiers for the AFC U19 Championships, we look at how India have done over the years...

With India set to take on Saudi Arabia in their first qualifier for the AFC Asian Under-19 Football Championship, Goal takes a look at how the country has fared over the years in a bid to qualify for the main tournament.

The tournament which started as the AFC Youth Championship in 1959, was held every year until 1978 before transitioning into a biennial event in 1980.

India did not participate in the tournament in the first four editions of the Championship. 1963 was the first time they entered a team in the Championship as they crashed out in the group-stages of the tournament held in Malaysia.

India's qualification history in the AFC U-19 Championsips between 1959-78
Year Hosts Qualified Final Standing
1959 Malaysia Did not participate  
1960 Malaysia Did not participate  
1961 Thailand Did not participate  
1962 Thailand Did not participate  
1963 Malaysia Yes Group Stages
1964 South Vietnam Yes Group Stages
1965 Japan Yes Group Stages
1966 Philippines Yes Quarter-finals
1967 Thailand Yes Quarter-finals
1968 South Korea Yes Group Stages
1969 Thailand Did not participate  
1970 Philippines Did not participate  
1971 Japan Yes Quarter-finals
1972 Thailand Yes Group Stages
1973 Iran Yes Group Stages
1974 Thailand Yes Joint winners
1975 Kuwait Yes Group Stages
1976 Thailand Yes Group Stages
1977 Iran Yes Quarter-finals
1978 Bangladesh Yes Group Stages

This was a period where there were no qualifiers played and teams participated directly in the main tournament. Qualification for the Championship was introduced in 1980.

India's qualification history in the AFC U-19 Championsips between 1980-2016
Year Hosts Qualified Final Standing
1980 Thailand No  
1982 Thailand No  
1985 United Arab Emirates No  
1986 Saudi Arabia Yes Group Stages
1988 Qatar Did not participate  
1990 Indonesia Yes Group Stages
1992 United Arab Emirates Yes Group Stages
1994 Indonesia Did not participate  
1996 South Korea Yes Group Stages
1998 Thailand Yes Group Stages
2000 Iran No  
2002 Qatar Yes Quarter-finals
2004 Malaysia Yes Group Stages
2006 India Hosts Group Stages
2008 Saudi Arabia No  
2010 China No  
2012 United Arab Emirates No  
2014 Myanmar No  
2016 Bahrain No  
2018 Indonesia TBD TBD

 

Since 1980, qualifiers were introduced for the AFC U-19 Championships which was positioned as a 16-team tournament and India has managed to make it to the main event in eight out of the 19 editions held since. They did not participate in 1994 despite having topped their qualifying group nor did they enter the tournament in 1988.

India qualified as hosts of the 2006 edition but have failed to qualify post that edition in five attempts.

India's noteable qualifcation attempts

1996

India were drawn with neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a three-team Group 5 of the qualifiers. They went on to win both the games to top the group and secure their qualification. However, India ultimately withdrew from the tournament and did not participate in the main event.

Group 5
Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
India 2 2 0 0 12 1 +11 6
Sri Lanka 2 1 0 1 2 7 -5 3
Pakistan 2 0 0 2 2 8 -6 0

2004

India were drawn with Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan in Group H of the qualifiers. They went on to finish in second place with a solitary point but Turkmenistan's withdrawal from the tournament gave India a chance to replace them at the main event.

Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
Turkmenistan 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 6
India 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
Kyrgyzstan 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1

2008

In 2008, India were pitted in a tough Group B comprising of six teams in the qualifiers held in Iran. India would ultimately finish fourth in the group to miss out on the main event.

Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
Iran 5 4 1 0 20 0 +20 13
Lebanon 5 4 0 1 10 4 +6 12
Oman 5 2 2 1 5 4 +1 8
India 5 1 1 3 8 6 +2 6
Bahrain 5 1 1 3 2 8 -6 6
Pakistan 5 0 1 4 0 23 -23 1

Despite the disappointment of missing out, India famously beat Pakistan 5-0 in Tehran to secure a famous victory over their neighbours.

2010

India once again finished fourth in a six-team Group C of the qualifiers held in Iraq to miss out on the main event. After suffering losses against Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Oman, India completed convicing 4-1 and 3-0 victories over Afghanistan and Kuwait to finish on a high.

Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
Iraq 5 4 1 0 13 0 +13 13
Saudi Arabia 5 3 1 1 9 5 +4 10
Oman 5 2 2 1 9 6 +3 8
India 5 2 0 3 11 13 -2 6
Kuwait 5 1 2 2 5 6 -1 5
Afghanistan 5 0 0 5 3 20 -17 0

2012

Drawn in a five-team Group C for the qualifiers along with Pakistan, India endured a dismal run salvaging just one victory amongst three defeats to miss out on the main event. All the matches were held in Tehran, Iran.

Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
Iran 4 4 0 0 14 0 +14 12
Uzbekistan 4 3 0 1 7 4 +3 9
India 4 1 0 3 5 8 -3 3
Turkmenistan 4 1 0 3 4 10 -6 3
Pakistan 4 1 0 3 3 11 -8 3

India's sole victory in the group came against Turkmenistan in its opening game but they went on to taste defeats in all their remaining games including against Pakistan.

2014

India were drawn in a five-team Group A of the qualifiers held in Qatar. They ultimately finished third in the group to miss out as the top two teams booked their slot in the main event.

Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
Qatar 4 4 0 0 13 1 +12 12
Uzbekistan 4 3 0 1 10 3 +7 9
India 4 1 1 2 3 7 -4 4
Turkmenistan 4 1 1 2 4 11 -7 4
Nepal 4 0 0 4 1 10 -9 0

A lone victory against Nepal wasn't enough for India to finish top-two in the group as defeats to Qatar and Uzbekistan dashed their hopes for a berth in the main event.

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2016

India were drawn in a four-team Group C of the qualifiers held in Palestine. Only the winner of the group was assured of a spot in the finals but India performed dismally to finsh bottom last with zero points in its kitty.

Team Played Won Draw Lost GF GA GD Points
United Arab Emirates 3 3 0 0 15 0 +15 9
Palestine 3 2 0 1 3 5 -2 6
Afghanistan 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
India 3 0 0 3 0 10 -10 0

 

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