The draw for the second round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which took place in Malaysia, has been concluded. 9811723856
India have been drawn alongside Iran, Turkmenistan, Oman and Guam. Things could not have gotten more difficult for India as Iran, the highest ranked team in the Asian Football Confederation, has been pooled in the same group as India.
India qualified for this stage after playing some good football in the first round of the qualifiers.
India should be able to defeat Guam, but are in a tricky situation with Turkmenistan, who are ranked 175 and 159, respectively. But, it is going to be a tough ask for India to win either of their matches against Oman or Iran.
With such Asian countries in Pool D, it is very difficult for India to progress to the final qualification phase for the World Cup. They need to either finish at the top of the group or be one of the four best second-placed team to progress ahead.
During the draw in Kuala Lumpur, India were slotted in Pot 3, which included teams such as Afghanistan, Philippines, Palestine, Maldives, Thailand, Tajikistan and Lebanon, whereas Iran and Oman were placed in pot one and two, respectively.
Top teams such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Korea Republic are expected to go through from their respective group stages. But, there are some groups, which stand out like group A comprising of both UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Australia and Jordan have been pitted in the same group (B) as well. Group G includes Korea Republic and Kuwait amongst other teams.
Group A: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor Leste, Malaysia.
Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh
Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong
Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam
Group E: Japan, Syria, Afhganistan, Singapore, Cambodia
Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei
Group G: Korea Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos
Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, DPR Korea, Yemen
Source: Fox Sports
India's fixture for the competition
11 June - India vs Oman
16 June - Guam vs India
8 September - India vs Iran
8 October - Turkmenistan vs India
13 October - India vs Oman
12 November - India vs Guam
24 March - India vs Iran
29 March - India vs Turmenistan
Source - Sports Keeda