AFC 2018 World Cup Qualifications

The AFC (Asian Football Federation) officially kicked-off the 2018 World Cup qualifications on March 12 2015. All AFC FIFA members (46) entered the 2018 World Cup qualifications. Northern Mariana Islands is a AFC member but not a FIFA member, and was therefore not allowed to participate.

4 teams will qualify directly for the 2018 World Cup. A fifth AFC team can participate as well, but then they would have to win an intercontinental play-off against another team from a different confederation. The qualifications for Asia consists of 4 rounds.

World Cup 2018 Asia Qualifications Round 1

The first round was played from March 12 till March 23 2015. A total of 12 teams (teams ranked 35–46 in the AFC entrant list) played home-and-away matches over 2 legs. The 6 winners advanced to the second round. The following matches were played:

 Team 1Agg.Team 2 1st leg2nd leg
Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei2-1BruneiBrunei0-12-0
Sri LankaSri Lanka1-3BhutanBhutan0-11–2

The following teams advanced to the second round:

  • India
  • Yemen
  • Timor-Leste
  • Cambodia
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Bhutan

The second round will consist of 40 teams in total: the 6 first round winners plus teams ranked 1–34. The teams will be divided in 8 groups containing 5  teams each. The round-robin format will be used, meaning the matches will be played on a home and away basis. The 8 group winners and the 4 best group runners-up will advance to the third round of the 2018 World Cup qualifications. These teams will also qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup hosted in the United Arab Emirates.

World Cup 2018 Asia Qualifications Round 2

The second round will kick off on the 11th of June 2015.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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