The Indian football team has been pitted alongside Qatar, Kuwait and the winner of the Round One clash between Afghanistan and Mongolia in Group A of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 Round Two, held at the AFC House, in Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday.

India made it to Pot 2 of the AFC draw after a string of good results, climbing to the 99th spot in the latest FIFA Rankings.

There will be 48 participating teams at the FIFA World Cup 2026, for the first time in history. The AFC has brought about some changes to the qualification format, with eight and a half slots on offer for teams coming under AFC. The 20 lowest-ranked Member Associations will compete in Round 1 of the Qualifiers, and will play one home and away match in October.

The ten winners from these 20 teams will then advance to Round Two, joining the remaining 26 teams from the continent. In this case, the winner between Afghanistan and Mongolia will compete against India in Group A. 36 sides will battle it out in Round Two, drawn into nine groups of four teams each. These teams will compete against each other in a home-and-away round-robin format, scheduled to take place between November 2023 and June 2024.

The nine group winners and the respective runners-up will automatically advance to the third round of the World Cup 2026 qualifiers, and also confirm their place at the AFC Asian Cup 2027.

Here’s a look at all the nine FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Round two groups:

Group A - Qatar, India, Kuwait, Winner Pairing 1 (Afghanistan vs Mongolia)

Group B - Japan, Syria, North Korea, Winner Pairing 5 (Myanmar vs Macau)

Group C - South Korea, China, Thailand, Winner pairing 3 (Singapore vs Guam)

Group D - Oman, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Winner pairing 7 (Chinese Taipei vs Timor Leste)

Group E - Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Winner Pairing 9 (Hong Kong vs Bhutan)

Group F - Iraq, Vietnam, Philippines, Winner Pairing 8 (Indonesia vs Brunei Darussalam)

Group G - Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Winner pairing 6 (Cambodia vs Pakistan)

Group H - UAE, Bahrain, Winner pairing 4 (Yemen vs Sri Lanka), Winner pairing 10 (Nepal vs Laos)

Group I - Australia, Palestine, Lebanon, Winner Pairing 2 (Maldives vs Bangladesh)