India was grouped with Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Guam in Group D of the Preliminary Qualifier - Round Two of the 2018 World Cup and the 2019 Asian Cup respectively.
Iran are the highest ranked (40) Asian nation while Oman are placed 50 spots above the Blue Tigers are ranked 147. Turkmenistan (159) and Guam (179) are the two teams in the group who are ranked below India.
The Blue Tigers had beaten Nepal 2-0 on aggregate to book their place in the second round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers which also doubles up as the qualification for the 2019 Asian Cup.
India had climbed to the 147th place from their lowly 173rd position in the recently released FIFA rankings and were placed in Pot 3 (Teams ranked 17th to 24th) which comprised of Afghanistan, Philippines, Palestine, Maldives, Thailand, Tajikistan and Lebanon.
The EIGHT Group winners and FOUR best runners-up will have a joint incentive - the 12 teams will not only qualify for the final qualification round of the 2018 World Cup, but they will also be automatically inducted as the qualifying teams, partaking in the AFC Asian Cup, hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in 2019.
The next 16 highest ranked teams will advance to the third round of Asian Cup qualification while the remaining 12 teams enter the play-off round to contest the remaining eight spots. These 24 teams will then be divided into six groups of four to play home-and-away round-robin matches, and compete for the 12 remaining slots for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
|Opposition||Matches Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Last Result|
|Iran||6||1||1||4||India 0-3 Iran (1992)|
|Oman||4||1||1||2||Oman 5-1 India (2012)|
|Turkmenistan||4||2||1||1||Turkmenistan 1-1 India (2011)|
|Guam||1||1||0||0||Guam 0-4 India (2013)|