Home > October qualifiers
The first half of October saw an additional 15 teams qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The UEFA qualifiers saw Germany, England, Spain, Poland, Iceland, Serbia, Portugal, and France win their groups.
Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Greece, and Republic of Ireland all go into a seeded draw to play a two-legged match to determine the remaining four qualifiers from Europe. The first legs will be played 9th-11th November and the second 12th-14th November.
Iceland make their debut at the World Cup as the country with the smallest population in the history of the World Cup at time of qualifying. After an extremely impressive performance in the 2016 European Championships (including a win against England), they will look to better their quarter-final finish come 2018.
Nigeria and Egypt are the first two qualifiers from Confederation of African Football (CAF) winning groups B and E respectively. There are five groups of four teams with one remaining game left to play between 10th-14th November.
In Group A Tunisia are all but guaranteed qualification requiring just a draw against bottom placed Libya to complete it. DR Congo will need to have Tunisia lose and they must win by more than two goals.
In Group C Morocco and Ivory Coast face off with the winner going to the World Cup. Morocco currently top the group and so will proceed in the event of a draw.
Group D is completely up for grabs as they are one game behind the other groups - all four of Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and South Africa are in contention with Senegal currently leading the way with a game in hand. Should Cape Verde qualify, they will become the second lowest population team in the history of the World Cup to qualify behind the aforementioned Iceland.
Costa Rica and Panama secure their places in the fifth round of qualification, a six team league with three teams progressing. Fourth place Honduras advance to an inter-confederation play-off, facing Australia over two legs between 6th-14th November. A quick Google suggests that flights are around £1,500 for those willing to make the trip. A sloppy 2-1 loss to bottom placed Trinidad & Tobago saw the United States eliminated in front of a 5,350 attendance on the small Caribbean island.
Uruguay, Argentina, and Colombia join runaway qualifying winners Brazil at the 2018 World Cup. A controversial free kick deemed to have gone off the goalkeeper Ospina landed Peru a spot in the other inter-confederation play-off against New Zealand. The free-kick consequently prevented Chile from having any chance at the World Cup.
Australia kept their hopes of qualification alive narrowly beating Syria over two legs after a 109th minute winner from Tim Cahill. They will face Honduras in the play-off.
Back in September, New Zealand stomped their way through the OFC qualifier which lands them a spot against Peru in the inter-confederation play-off. After winning Group A, New Zealand faced Solomon Islands in a two legged play-off which they won comfortably 8-3 on aggregate.
Come November 14th, we will have the full roster of teams attending the World Cup with the draw to be held at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on the 1st December.
Posted at Fri 13th Oct 2017