2018 World Cup Update: The Final Countdown

All right folks, it’s time to see this through for the last nine World Cup qualification spots.

AFC-CONCACAF Playoff
Australia and Honduras will rack up some frequent flyer miles. The first leg will take place November 10th in San Pedro Sula, then the squads will face each other again in Sydney five days later. The winner on cumulative goals will advance, with the away goals rule applying. (The away goals rule is essentially a first tiebreaker: if the cumulative score is a draw, then the team that scored more away goals wins.)

CONMEBOL-OFC Playoff
Not to be outdone, Peru will fly to New Zealand, with the first match taking place on November 11th, and the return four days later in Lima. The same rules apply.

CAF
Nigeria and Egypt have already qualified out of Africa, so that leaves three groups to be decided.

Group A
On the next matchday, November 11th, Tunisia will advance if they win or draw against Libya, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo loses to draws against Guinea.

Group C
Morocco and Ivory Coast play each other on November 11th. Ahead by a point, Morocco can advance with a win or draw, but Ivory Coast can only advance with a win.

Group D
Group D is the wackiest for sure, since the original Senegal-South Africa match is being replayed due to South Africa using an ineligible player. That replay will happen on November 10th in South Africa, and then the teams will meet again four days later in Dakar. Senegal leads the rest of the group by two points, so they will clinch if they defeat South Africa on Friday. Any other result means the group will still be wide open, and we’ll update this post once we know more.

UEFA
And so the last four spots will be contested by eight European teams. Let’s take a quick look. As with the other playoffs, these are two-legged ties where the cumulative results matter, with the away goals rule applying.

  • Northern Ireland and Switzerland will playoff on November 9th and 12th
  • Croatia and Greece will playoff on November 9th and 12th.
  • Sweden and Italy will playoff on November 10th and 13th.
  • Denmark and Ireland will playoff on November 11th and 14th.

That’s pretty much it! By this time next week, the field will be completely set.

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