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2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.



13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 


Australia must be mindful of Thailand circumstances - Ange Postecoglou

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou
Ange Postecoglou has urged Australians to be mindful when they travel to Bangkok next month.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has urged travelling supporters to respect the wishes of the Thai government and treat next month's World Cup qualifier in Bangkok as a solemn occasion.

The clash on Nov. 15 between Australia and Thailand will go ahead as planned despite the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej earlier this month, which has sent the country into a year-long mourning period.

However, football fans have been told to resist any "joyful activities" at the match, such as chanting, and to...

Ange Postecoglou explains Jamie Maclaren snub from Socceroos squad

Brisbane striker Jamie Maclaren
Jamie Maclaren has yet to open his account in the A-League this season.

Jamie Maclaren will only return to the Socceroos fold once he starts finding the back of the net in the A-League with regularity again, coach Ange Postecoglou has warned.

The Brisbane Roar striker -- who was the highest-scoring Australian player in the competition last season with 20 goals -- is yet to score three rounds into the new season and was left out of Australia's extended 30-man squad for their World Cup qualifier next month in Thailand.

Postecoglou has made it clear to the 23-year-old...

Australia's Ange Postecoglou hoping squad prove worth before Thailand trip

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down all the action from the 1-1 draw between Australia and Japan in AFC WCQ.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou defended the crowd, saying the crowd of 48,000 provided a 'great atmosphere' at Etihad Stadium.

Ange Postecoglou has effectively challenged his Socceroos to prove this weekend why they deserve to play in next month's World Cup qualifier in Thailand.

Postecoglou has named an extended 30-man squad for Australia's final international assignment of the year and will trim it back to 23 once he has watched this weekend's fixtures.

That gives the players all one last opportunity for their clubs, either in the A-League or abroad, to audition for a seat on the plane to Bangkok.

The squad that drew with...

Melbourne City's Luke Brattan eager to make impression in Socceroos recall

Melbourne City have defeated cross-city rivals Victory 2-0 to set up an FFA Cup final against Sydney FC.

Luke Brattan has been rewarded for his dazzling start to the A-League season with a return to Socceroos reckoning.

On Tuesday, he was putting Melbourne Victory to the sword with his second man-of-the-match derby performance in as many weeks.

A day later, the Melbourne City midfielder was named in an extended 30-man squad for next month's World Cup qualifier against Thailand by Ange Postecoglou.

The 26-year-old's talent has never been in question and he grew to become a key member of the Brisbane...