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3-min read

India Await Opponents as 2nd Round Draw of 2022 FIFA World Cup, 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Take Place

The second round draw of 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers will take place on Wednesday from 2.30PM onwards.

News18 Sports

Updated:July 17, 2019, 1:47 PM IST
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India Await Opponents as 2nd Round Draw of 2022 FIFA World Cup, 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Take Place
Indian football team is placed in Pot 3 of the second round draw alongside Bahrain, Taiwan, DPR Korea, Palestine, Philippines, Tajikistan and Thailand. (Photo Credit: @IndianFootball)
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New Delhi: Indian football team will soon know their opponents in the second round of 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers as the draw is set to take place at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

India, who finished Intercontinental Cup 2019 at the bottom of the four-team table on Tuesday, await their opponents enroute to the mega tournaments in Qatar in 2022 and China in 2023.

The draw includes 40 participating nations of Asia and based on their FIFA World Rankings, they have been divided into five different pots, from where they will be drawn into eight groups of five teams each.

Here's a look at the five pots:

Pot 1: Australia, China, Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Qatar, United Arab Emirates

Pot 2: Iran, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, Uzbekistan, Vietnam

Pot 3: India, Bahrain, Taiwan, DPR Korea, Palestine, Philippines, Tajikistan, Thailand

Pot 4: Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, Yemen

Pot 5: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guam, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka

As seen above, India are placed in Pot 3 with the likes of Bahrain, Taiwan, DPR Korea, Palestine, Philippines, Tajikistan and Thailand. Out of these teams, India recently played DPR Korea and Tajikistan in the Intercontinental Cup and lost to both.

India has faced Thailand twice this year, once in the Asian Cup and the other time in the King's Cup and the Blue Tigers came out victorious on both occasions. India also faced Bahrain earlier this year in the AFC Asian Cup.

HOW DOES THE GROUP STAGE OF QUALIFIERS WORK?

After the teams are divided into eight groups, 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.

From there, the eight group winners and four best runner-ups will qualify for the final round of World Cup qualifying, along with getting an automatic qualification into the Asian Cup 2023.

Out of the 12 teams that reach the final round of World Cup qualifying, best four will make it to the World Cup while the fifth best will play an intercontinental play-off.

The qualifiers will begin from September 5, 2019 and will take place till June 9, 2020 during all the international windows present throughout the calendar year.

THE WAY FORWARD FOR INDIA

India's new coach Igor Stimac has said that he has eyes on doing well in the World Cup qualifiers and he is preparing the Indian national team for the same. He is drilling possession-based football into the team and expectedly, it is a process and it is taking time.

Stimac rung in a number of changes throughout the King's Cup in Thailand and Intercontinental Cup at home in order to gauge his best XI. While India lost the first two matches of the Intercontinental Cup with huge margins, they dished out a positive performances in the final league stage match against Syria to show the way forward.

The Blue Tigers will be expected to put up a good show in the World Cup qualifiers and a lot will be riding on that.

"You can do your permutation, combination according to your knowledge. Someone might want Vietnam from the second pool, somebody might want UAE from the first pool. But I have been to pots and I know all your maths goes out of the window, it's all luck," Sunil Chhetri said about the draw in a video posted by Indian Football Twitter handle.

"See you know you're going to get one team which is really good. One team who is good, one is you, one who is as good as you and one you might think you have a chance both home and away, that's the max (sic). It might go crazy with you getting all No.1s from other groups or getting No.7 from a couple of groups but if you are not good (you don't have a chance)," Chhetri concluded.

The draw can be watched in India on DSport from 2.30PM onwards and can also be streamed on FIFA's YouTube channel.

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