Malaysia has an “good” chance of reaching the third round of 2012 London Olympics men’s football tournament after being pitted against Lebanon in one of the few interesting match-ups at the draw conducted at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday.
Another interesting battle to come out of the draw was between arch-rivals Iraq, who made it to the semi-finals of the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Iran who reached the quarter-finals of the 1976 games in Montreal.
In the world ranking, Malaysia is ranked 128 while Lebanon is at 169. While the ranking is for the senior teams, it however can be seen as an indication of the standard of the game in bothe the countries.
Eleven teams, who have qualified from Round 1, joined 13 direct entrants into the second round. The teams will be divided into 12 groups and will play home-and-away on June 19 and June 23.
Japan, who have appeared eight times in the Olympics men’s football tournament, will host Kuwait in the first leg on June 19 before playing in Kuwait City four days later.
DPR Korea, who won both AFC U-19 and U-16 Championships last year, will meet UAE while Australia will face Yemen in the second round.
Asia were allotted 3.5 slots for the 2012 London Olympics men’s football tournament.
The 12 winners from Round 2 will be divided into three groups of four teams each in the third round.
Again, a home-and-away format from September 21, 2011, to March 14, 2012, will determine the winners who will represent the continent in the Olympics.
Three second-placed teams from the third round will clash in a playoff at a centralized venue from March 25 to 29, 2012, and the winners of this group will meet the representatives of CAF for a berth in the Olympics.
2nd ROUND MATCH-UPS
Qatar vs India
Iraq vs Iran
Bahrain vs Thailand
Australia vs Yemen
Japan vs Kuwait
Syria vs Turkmenistan
DPR Korea vs UAE
Korea Republic vs Jordan
Uzbekistan vs Hong Kong
Saudi Arabia vs Vietnam
China vs Oman
Lebanon vs Malaysia