India, under their new coach Stephen Constantine, defeated Nepal (181) 2-0 in the home leg and shared spoils in the away match to advance into the second round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup respectively.
The Blue Tigers had played only a couple of fixtures in 2014, when they went down to Palestine (140) 2-3 and drew 2-2 against Bangladesh (167). The Indian national team are scheduled to play a number of matches this year though, courtesy their advancement to the second round of the aforementioned qualifiers.
India are now ranked third in South Asia, 12 places behind Afghanistan and six places below Maldives. Bhutan are the best movers among all nations as their victory over Sri Lanka (186) saw them make a massive leap of 46 places. It must be noted that they were the worst ranked country in the world last month, are now placed 163rd which is better than the likes of Pakistan (172) and Bangladesh.
The current rankings will play a crucial role in the seeding for the next round of the qualifiers for the World Cup. Being ranked 24th in the continent, India will now be placed in pot three in the draw, which is scheduled to take place on the 14th of this month.