India have been drawn in a tough group, along with the formidable North Korea, in the AFC Challenge Cup football tournament which will be held in Nepal from March 8 next year.
Besides North Korea, who featured in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, other teams clubbed with India in the group are Tajikistan and Philippines.
Hosts Nepal have been drawn with Maldives, Turkmenistan and Palestine in the draw ceremony held Thursday in Kathmandu.
India play their first match against Tajikistan on March 9. They next play Philippines on March 11 and North Korea on March 13.
Both the semifinals will be held on March 16 while the final is scheduled for March 19, an All India Football Federation release said.
India had won the 2008 edition of the AFC Challenge Cup which gave the country the right to play in the Asian Cup in Qatar in January.