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2018 World Cup qualifiers
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Europe has the most countries taking part in this competition with 54 nations across 9 different groups. After a series of 10 games, the first 9 teams are directly qualified for the World Cup in Russia. The 8 next best teams then compete which usually involves a lot of travelling. It is early days still but some teams are starting to break away from the pack.
On the 5th round of qualifying for the World Cup, most of the favourites were present. The French team had a precious victory over Luxembourg, 3-1, to take the lead in Group A ahead of the Netherlands, who were beaten in Bulgaria 2-0. In Group B, the Portuguese Euro champions gave Switzerland no breathing room after their 3-0 victory against Hungary and are still waiting to be stabbed in the back. For their part, Germany, England, Slovakia, Croatia and Poland did the job and ensured their respective advances for the qualification by defeating the Azeris, Latvians, Maltese, Ukrainians and Montenegrins respectively. Strong nations of European football have respected the hierarchy.
Group G is undoubtedly the most exciting in Europe. Spain and Italy fight hard to finish first in the standings and fly directly to Russia without going through the checkpoint. After a first victory, the two teams ended up in Italy to take the lead of the group. However, a draw (1-1) came to solder the meeting between the two finalists of Euro 2012. The two formations had subsequently chained two successes, and confirmed during the last day against Israel for the Iberians ( 4-1) and Albania for the Squadra (2-0). In view of the adversity, these nations should not be worried before going for round 2 in Spain. Appointment on September 2, 2017.
Good or bad, the qualifiers for the World Cup have their share of surprises. On the positive side, Serbia's first place in the group D, which was won after a good performance in Georgia (1-3). In Group E, Montenegro is also surprising with its second place ahead of the Danes and Romanians, as well as Iceland in Group I, which hears the Croats ahead of Ukraine and Turkey. On the negative side, we will definitely feel for fourth place Netherlands in group A after their defeat in Bulgaria, Turkey in group I, and third place Wales in group D. Three real disappointments.
In a part of the world where the first four teams are directly qualified and the fifth must go through an intercontinental checkpoint, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile Fly to Moscow. After 14 days, Selešao have already qualified by beating Celeste (1-4) and then Paraguay (3-0) at the end of March. . Colombia is the big winner of March, and is now second after their success against Bolivia and Ecuador.
Two rounds were played in the Africa zone. Taking into account that only the first of each group goes Russia, some teams are already in danger. This is the case of Algeria in the B or Cape Verde in the D. The Fennecs are last with 0 points after their defeat to Nigeria (3-1), the current leaders. The Cape Verdians occupy the same place as the Algerian selection and are in turmoil after two defeats. In group A, the battle rages between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (6) and Tunisia (6). Their confrontation on 28 August could totally revive the group. In sum, Nigeria, ivory Coast and Egypt are currently qualified.
After a long dominance of Costa Rica, Mexico took the lead in this concacaf zone at the end of March. Winners over the Costa Ricans (2-0) and Trinidad and Tobago (0-1), Chicharito's teammates did the job with precision timing and will receive Honduras in optimal conditions in September. Team USA, have climbed the slope after a complicated start and now face the modest Panama and Trinidad and Tobago during the last two days.
Twelve nations make up the Asia zone, divided into two groups of 6 teams. The first two are directly qualified for the World Cup, while the third will have to fight hard to get their ticket to Russia. They must first compete (round-trip) before the winner is forced to compete in an intercontinental head to head (see above). In pool A, Iran is still leading after their wins against Qatar and China, but sees South Korea returning to a few points. On the other hand, it is now Japan leading the dance in group B after their success against the UAE and Thailand. Auspicious before the final sprint.
Article "2018 World Cup qualifiers" updated in 18/08/2017
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