Iran learns rivals for FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

TEHRAN, Apr. 12 (MNA) – Iran national football team has recognized opponents at Preliminary Round 3 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers.Twelve nations learnt their opponents for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Final Round following the official draw which took place in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday 12 April.

The Iranian squad has been seeded against South Korea, Uzbekistan, Syria, Qatar and China in group A of the tournament while Group B comprises Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Eight AFC Member Associations had qualified for the final round of qualifiers by virtue of finishing as group winners from Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 with another four also qualifying as the four best second-placed teams.

According to the AFC, the winner and runner-up of each group (four teams in total) will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia finals while the third-placed teams of each group (two teams in total) will advance to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Play-off Round.

The winner of the Asian Play-off Round (one team in total) will take on the side that finishes fourth in the fifth round of the CONCACAF qualifiers in a two-legged inter-confederation playoff for a spot at the global finals.

Iran had a mixed start to Preliminary Round 2 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers having drawn 1-1 twice at the midway stage, but a strong second half, in which the three-time Asian champions scored 15 times and conceded just one in a run of four straight wins, saw Iran comfortably top Group D six points clear of second-placed Oman.

After debuting at the FIFA World Cup finals in 1978, Iran qualified for the global game’s most prestigious tournament on three further occasions. They appeared for a second time in 1998, defeating the USA for their first ever World Cup win, before going on to take part in Germany 2006 and Brazil 2014, where Team Melli were unable to follow up that famous victory in Lyon with a second World Cup win.

By Mehr News Agency