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Both Southeast Asian nations found themselves placed in Group B alongside Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, while Myanmar was drawn in Group A for the competition in May in Maldives

The draw for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup has thrown two of the three Southeast Asian representatives together, with the Philippines and Laos finding themselves in Group B.

They are joined by Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, while the third Asean nation, Myanmar, is in Group A. The other three sides are hosts Maldives, Palestine and Kyrgyzstan.

The Azkals are the top-ranked side in the competition at 17th in Asia, ahead of 19th-placed Turkmenistan and Laos in 29th. The winners of the Challenge Cup will participate in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Australia next year.

It will be the first major assignment for newly-appointed coach Thomas Dooley, who was unveiled as the successor to Hans Michael Weiss last Friday. Myanmar will also be led by a new man in the form of former Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic.

The draw for the tournament, which will be held from May 19 to 30, was unveiled by the AFC on Wednesday night.

It is set to be the fifth and last edition of the biennial competition for nations deemed as "emerging countries" by the AFC, having been first hosted in 2006 by Bangladesh.


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