The Draw for the 2022 World Cup second round Asian qualifiers was announced , As India (currently placed 101 in the Fifa Rankings) Clubbed in a tricky group alongside AFC Asian Cup champions Qatar (55), Gulf champions Oman (86) , Afghanistan (149) and Bangladesh (183).
The 40 Asian countries were divided into eight groups of five teams each in the draw held at the Asian Football Confederation headquarters here. All the teams in each group will play home-and-away round-robin matches starting from September 5.The eight group winners and four best runners-up will advance to the final round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Finals, to be held in China.The remaining 24 teams would be out of contention for qualifying for the World Cup but could still qualify for the Asia Cup when they participate in another round of qualifiers to determine the remaining 12 teams in the 24-team Asia Cup India avoided the big guns from Pot 1 like Iran, Japan, Korea, Australia and Saudi Arabia, but drew Asian Cup champions Qatar. India were also not drawn alongside bigger teams from Pot 2 like Iraq and Uzbekistan.
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India can beat the likes of Afghanistan and Bangladesh and will hope to play their best against Oman, as well as World Cup hosts Qatar, if they have to advance to the final round of the qualifiers.India were also drawn along with Oman in the second round qualifiers of the 2018 World Cup.
India head coach Igor Stimac termed the draw “a very tough challenge”.”It will be an enormous challenge for your young team. We have been drawn into a very tough group,” Stimac said.Without singling out any team, Stimac said that “we need to respect every opposition”.The Intercontinental Cup showed to all how strange a game of football is. The two teams which are playing the final (Tajikistan, and DPR Korea) are the lowest FIFA ranked teams in the tournament. That shows that everyone can beat everyone,”
He said.”I will teach the team to respect the opposition, but when we step on to the pitch, we will do everything to win. That is the way I am going to prepare my team. We are just at the beginning of our journey. I hope that it will be a long one,” he added.
In 2018, India had finished bottom in the second round of the previous edition of the World Cup qualifiers for Asia where they had played Iran, Turkmenistan, Oman, and Guam.
2022 World Cup qualifiers time schedule has given below
Date Opponent Venue
September 5, 2019 Oman Home
September 10, 2019 Qatar Away
October 15, 2019 Bangladesh Home
November 14, 2019 Afghanistan Away
November 19, 2019 Oman Away
March 26, 2020 Qatar Home
June 4, 2020 Bangladesh Away
June 9, 2020 Afghanistan Home
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