India drawn with Nepal in 2018 World Cup qualifier
The Indian football team’s first qualifier for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is against Nepal in March. The tie is a two-legged home-away affair which will see the home match played at Guwahati's Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
The AFC draw was held on Tuesday and India (ranked 171) drew Nepal (ranked 186). The first leg is at home on 12 March 2015 while the away leg will be played in Nepal on 17 March 2015.
India were among the teams ranked 35 to 40 (with Sri Lanka, Yemen, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei and Timor Leste) in Asia and were to be drawn with teams ranked 41 to 46 – Macau, Mongolia, Pakistan, Bhutan or Brunei. Sunil Chhetri’s will be playing their first international match after playing only two matches in the calendar year 2014.
Qualifying for the next round will help India play more official matches which come under FIFA and thereby improve their world ranking. The last time India played Nepal, they won 2-0. The last time India won a qualifier was in 2004 when they beat Singapore 1-0.
Fixtures for Round 1
- India vs Nepal
- Sri Lanka vs Bhutan
- Yemen vs Pakistan
- Timor-Leste vs Mongolia
- Cambodia vs Macau
- Chinese Taipei vs Brunei