India to play Nepal in FIFA WC preliminary qualification

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) India were Tuesday drawn to play against Nepal in the preliminary joint qualification round 1 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The draw was held at the AFC Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday.

The matches would be held on a home and away format with India first playing at home March 12. The return leg is slated for March 17.

The match will be the first for newly-appointed national coach Stephen Constantine since he took over the job at the helm of Indian football for the second time.

Speaking to, Constantine mentioned that it will be a “difficult game”.

“It will be a very difficult game for us. Nepal are a good side. I think both Teams have respect for each other it won’t be easy,” Constantine said.

“I am looking forward to going back to Nepal. It has been a long time since I have been in the Himalayan Kingdom. But this time, it will be for pure business.”

As per the January, 2015 FIFA Rankings, India are ranked at 171 while Nepal are presently at 186.

The last time the two teams met in November 2013, India defeated Nepal 2-0 at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri.

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