Iran learn fate at Qatar 2022 & China 2023 race


The groups were announced in the World Cup 2022 Asian Qualifiers draw on Wednesday at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur. The remaining teams will all be placed in the AFC Asian Cup qualifying play-off round.

Korea Republic, who have appeared in every edition of the FIFA World Cup Finals since 1986, will have Lebanon, DPR Korea, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka in Group H of the Asian Qualifiers.

At 28 in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings, Japan is the highest-ranked side in the group, with No. 95 Kyrgyzstan the next highest. As such, it is guaranteed that at least one ASEAN side will be present during the third round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification process.

The tournament is scheduled to be held from September 5 to June 9.

The Blue Tigers' will most likely have to vie with Gulf Cup champions Oman to squeeze into the top two, with Asian champions Qatar strong favourites to take the top spot.

India can beat the likes of Afghanistan and Bangladesh and will hope to play their best against Oman, as well as World Cup hosts Qatar, if they have to advance to the final round of the qualifiers.

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Newly appointed Thailand head coach Akira Nishino - who managed Japan at the 2018 World Cup with Moriyasu as assistant - will try to lead his team through Group G, which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

World Cup host Qatar also plays as this group stage doubles up as qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup, when it will defend the continental title in China.

Before the draw, India's most capped footballer Sunil Chhetri explained his experiences with the Asian and World Cup Qualifiers draw, saying that "all the maths goes out the window with the draw" and that luck is a big factor.

The draw, conducted by FIFA Director of Competitions Christian Unger and Australian legend Tim Cahill, saw Asia's top ranked team Iran pooled in Group C alongside Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong and Cambodia.

Asia is also the first continental body to begin setting its groups.

There will be eight groups of five countries n the second round.