Qualifications For the Russia World Cup

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A Messi Hat-Trick ensured Argentina were the latest team to qualify for the World Cup.  An upset this tournament was how a late win by Panama ensured they were on the plane to Russia and U.S.A will be miss-out.

Before we look at the teams who have the opportunity to still qualify we look at the teams who are guaranteed to be in the biggest football tournament next June.

Hosts Russia automatically qualify and the other 22 teams are as follows:

Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, England, Nigeria, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Panama.

Who else still has a chance?

There are still 9 places left up for grabs for the World Cup. For a detailed list and summary on who has qualified see the BBC report here. 

The European play-offs

The following teams will play a 2 game match against the determined opponent with the winners guaranteeing their place in the World Cup.

Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Greece.

South America 

The biggest upset in this group was how Chile managed to miss out on qualification all together. Peru managed to get a play-off place and will face New Zealand in November to see who qualifies for the tournament.

Concacaf

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Honduras managed to get the final play-off place for the Concacaf group. The Central American team will now face Australia over two legs with the winner on their way to the 2018 Russia world cup. 

Asia

Australia’s Tim Cahill’s ensured they will make the play-offs after his extra-time header meant they beat Syria 3-2.  Australia will now play Honduras for a place in the finals.

Africa

Nigeria booked their spot in the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Zambia. The biggest upset was how current Africa Cup of Nations Champions Cameroon missed out. Unlike other groups, there are no play-offs in Africa.