India drawn with hosts Qatar in Round 2 of WC qualifiers

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 18, 2019 12:53 hrs
Indian football team

The Indian football team has been clubbed in Group E alongside Bangladesh, Oman, Afghanistan and hosts Qatar for the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The 34 top-ranked Asian sides as per the FIFA world rankings for June are joined in the second round by the six winners (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guam, Malaysia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka) of the Round 1 ties.

The competing nations were drawn into eight groups of five teams, with a side from each of the below pots (also determined by June's FIFA rankings) making up the five-team pools.

The matches in the second round will be played from September 5 to June 9, 2020. The group winners and four best runners-up (12 teams in total) will advance to the third round of Asian World Cup qualifiers.

The group stage will be played in a double round-robin format where all teams will face each other twice in home and away conditions.

India are likely to face some tough competition from hosts Qatar, given their impressive performance in the recently-concluded Copa America, while Oman could also pose some difficult challenges.

On the other hand, the Blue Tigers are expected to easily get the better of Afghanistan and Bangladesh, against whom India have strong records.

Round 2 draw:

Group A: China PR, Syria, Philippines, Maldives, Guam

Group B: Australia, Jordan, Taiwan, Kuwait, Nepal

Group C: Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Cambodia

Group D: Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, Singapore

Group E: Bangladesh, Oman, India, Afghanistan, Qatar

Group F: Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Myanmar, Mongolia

Group G: UAE, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia

Group H: Korea Republic, Lebanon, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka.