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India to face Iraq in King’s Cup 2023 semifinal

The Indian senior men’s football team will face Iraq in the semifinal of the 49th King’s Cup 2023, it was announced after the draw ceremony in Thailand on Wednesday.

The match will take place at the 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on September 7. Thailand will take on Lebanon in the other semifinal later on the same day.

The final will be played on September 10. The losers will meet in the third-place play-off.

Iraq (as the highest FIFA-ranked team—70th) and Thailand (as hosts and ranked 113th) were placed in separate match-ups and drawn against the remaining two teams—India, ranked 99th, and Lebanon, ranked 100th.

India’s last meeting with Iraq was a 0-2 defeat in a friendly in Baghdad in 2010.

It will be India’s fourth appearance in the King’s Cup in Thailand, with the most recent one coming in 2019, where the Blue Tigers went down to Curaçao in the semifinal before beating host Thailand 1-0 for the bronze medal. India also won bronze in its first appearance in the tournament in 1977, defeating the likes of South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia. In 1981, India was eliminated in the group stage.

49th King’s Cup 2023 Draw Result:
Iraq vs India (16:00 IST, September 7, 2023)
Thailand vs Lebanon (19:00 IST, September 7, 2023)
Third-place play-off (16:00 IST, September 10, 2023)
Final (19:00 IST, September 10, 2023)
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