Europe is the part of the globe with the most countries taking part in the World Cupwith 54 nations across9 different groups . At the end of a series of 10 games, the first 9 are directlyqualified for the World Cup in Russia. The 8 best second competethenafterfor their place in the competition. It’sstillvery far away but already, some teams are alreadymaking moves.
On their 4th day of qualifying for the World Cup, the favouritesusuallyalready have theirplace booked in the World Cup. The French team had apreciousvictoryagainstSweden (2-1) to take the lead in Group A ahead of the Netherlands. Second, Portugal did notallowSwitzerland to breatheaftertheir 4-1 victoryagainstLatvia and they arestillwaiting for a misstepfromtheir direct opponent. For their part, Germany, England, Belgium, Croatia and Poland have done the job and securedtheir first place by lookingthroghuwinsagainstagainst San Marino (0-8), Scotland ( 3-0), Estonia (8-1), Iceland (2-0) and Romania (0-3). Strong nations of European football have a respected the hierarchy.
Group G isundoubtedly the mostexciting in Europe. Spain and Italy are fighting hard to finish first in the ranking and flydirectly to Russiawithoutgoingthroughacheckpoint. After the first victory, the two teams met up in Italy to decide on the leader of the group. However, a draw (1-1) left the 2 teams tied, the twofinalists of Euro 2012. The two formations subsequentlychainedtwosuccesses and nowshare the first place with 10 points. In view of the adversity, these nations should not beworriedbeforetheymeet once again in Spain. Meeting on September 2, 2017.
Good or bad, the World Cupqualifiers have theirfairshare of surprises. On a positive note, weshouldemphasize the Republic of Ireland's first place in Group D, followingtheir 1-0 victory over Austria, in Austria. Withtwo points ahead of Serbia, they arepotentiallyqualified for the fourth time in theirhistory for a WorldCup. In Group E, Montenegro (7 points), despitetheirdefeatagainst Armenia (3-2), putPolandunder pressure (10 points). Being in second place, theycouldplay the dams and try to participate in their first WorldCup. The unpleasant surprise of the openinggames has been Wales’ inconsistent performances. ThirdbehindonlySerbia and the Republic of Ireland, Gareth Bale's team-mates will have to wake up soon or elsetheir efforts at the last Euro willbeforgotten.
In a part of the world where the first four teams qualifydirectly and the fifth must go through an intercontinental qualifying round, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador and Chile are the onesflying to Russia. Aftertwelvedays, the Braziliansbegin to graduallywidenthe gap leading the rankingwith 27 points. 4 more thantheirUruguayancounterparts. With a draw and a defeat in their last twooutings, the nation of Falcaolostsomeground and findthemselvesin sixth. Nothingtooworying but a situation thatshouldberectified in the comingweeks. With 15 and 14 points respectively, Paraguay and Peruremainopen to ambush.
Twogameswereplayed in the Africa zone. Takingintoaccountthatonly the first of each group joins Russia, some teams are already in danger. This is the case of Algeria in group B or Cape Verde in group D. Algeria are last with 0 points aftertheirdefeatagainstthe leaders Nigeria (3-1). The Cape Verdeansoccupy the same place as the Algerian selection and are in turmoilaftertwodefeats. In group A, the battle rages between the DemocraticRepublic of Congo (6 points) and Tunisia (6). Their confrontation on August 28th couldtotally revive the group. In conclusion, Nigeria, IvoryCoast and Egypt are currentlyqualified.
North and Central American as well as theCaribbean area has finallystarted. In a group of six nations, with the first threeflying to Russia, Costa Rica (6 points), Mexico (4) and Panama (4) look liketheywillbe inRussia. To the surprise of everyone, the USA are in last place with 0 points tiedwith Trinidad and Tobago. For their part, Honduras ispotentiallyqualified for the intercontinental qualifieragainstanation fromAsia, seebelow for more information.
Twelve nations make up the Asian zone, dividedintotwo groups of 6 teams. The first two are directlyqualified for the world next, while the third are going to have to battleit out to gettheir ticket to Russia. They must first competeagainstaway as well as at homebefore the winner isallowed to competein intercontinental qualifier (seeabove). Iran still leads alone in Group A and seesUzbekistanlosetheir second place spotbto the detriment of the Republic of Korea. In group B, SaudiArabiaarejoined by Japan in mind. Australia and Uzbekistan are for the moment the "luckyones" to compete in Round 4».
Article "2018 World Cup qualifiers" updated in 23/02/2017
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