Author Topic: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification  (Read 1664 times)

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2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« on: July 26, 2015, 03:08:14 AM »
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2015, 03:09:23 AM »
Spain and Italy were placed in the same qualifying group for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as were the Netherlands and France, but holders Germany were handed a kinder campaign with the Czech Republic their chief rivals in the draw made on Saturday.

Spain, world champions in 2010, and Italy, who won the last of their four titles in 2006, are favourites to fill the top two slots in Group G after being paired with Albania, Israel, Macedonia and Liechtenstein.

Only the group winners will automatically advance to the finals, however, with the eight best runners-up from nine groups fighting it out in playoffs for four other berths.

Things do not look so straightforward in Group A where the Netherlands and France face tricky opponents in Sweden, Bulgaria, Belarus and Luxembourg,

Germany, who won the World Cup for the fourth time in Brazil last year, will face the Czechs, Northern Ireland, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino.

"I'm happy that we are not playing against Italy and France," Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff told reporters. "We can be satisfied about that."

England, whose only World Cup win came in 1966 but who have been regular qualifiers in recent years, again look well placed after being grouped with their oldest rivals Scotland in Group F, along with Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Malta.

"It is a draw that has made a lot of people happy," Scotland coach Gordon Strachan said.

"The coaching staff are happy because we've got a lot of teams we haven't faced recently and there are a lot of delirious fans here because it is a fantastic fixture and I think the whole of Scotland and England will be looking forward to it."

Wales will have high hopes of reaching the finals for the first time since 1958 having been placed, after the benefit of a rare top seeding, alongside Austria, Serbia, Ireland, Moldova and Georgia.

"We've really improved in the last three years and we fancy ourselves against anyone," Wales coach Chris Coleman said.

"We've had a bit of fun being in pot one. It's new for us. We've really enjoyed it."

The other groups look open, with Portugal, Switzerland and Hungary in Group B, Romania, Poland and Denmark in Group E, Belgium and Bosnia in Group H and Croatia, Iceland, Ukraine and Turkey in Group I.

Hosts Russia qualify automatically, meaning 14 European teams will be in the finals in three years' time.
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 05:37:59 AM »
Cameroon will have to negotiate a tricky two-leg knockout tie against Somalia or Niger at the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign following the African zone draw made in St Petersburg on Saturday.

Somalia and Niger will meet in the first round and the winners play the Indomitable Lions over two legs in the second.

South Sudan, who joined FIFA in 2012, will face Mauritania in their first-ever World Cup qualifier, with the opening leg at home. The winners play Tunisia in the second round.

Nigeria will face Djibouti or Swaziland in the second round and African champions Ivory Coast must face Liberia or Guinea-Bissau.

Angola will meet South Africa in arguably the toughest of the second-round meetings.

The 26 lowest-ranked African teams take part in the first round and the winners join the remaining 27 African sides in the second stage, again played on a knockout basis with each tie over two legs played from Nov. 9-17.

This creates a potential pitfall for the established teams who run the risk of being eliminated because of a single shock result.

In the third round, the 20 teams are divided into five groups of four and the winners of each group qualify for the World Cup.
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 05:38:38 AM »
The winners of the Oceania World Cup qualifying group will have to play the fifth-placed South American side to reach the finals in Russia following the draw for the intercontinental playoffs made on Saturday.

In the other playoff tie, the team which finishes fourth in the CONCACAF competition will face the fifth-placed team from Asia. Both ties will be played over two legs.

Uruguay have finished fifth in the last four South American World Cup qualifying competitions and taken part in an intercontinental playoff each time. The beat Australia in 2001, lost to them four years later, beat Costa Rica in 2009 and Jordan in 2013.

With Australia having shifted into the Asia qualifying competition in 2006, New Zealand, who qualified for the 1982 and 2010 World Cups, are firm favourites to win the Oceania group.

They will face Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji in the second stage of the Oceania zone, with the top three teams in the group qualifying for the third round.

The third round consists of two groups of three and the winners of each meet in a two-leg zonal final.
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2015, 02:25:37 AM »
Wales have suffered so many near-misses in the past half-century that the fans take nothing for granted but there is now a genuine belief they can reach a major tournament for the first time since the 1958 World Cup.

It will happen as early as Sunday if Chris Coleman's team win their Euro 2016 qualifiers away to Cyprus on Thursday and then at home to Israel three days later.

With their Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale in fine form, Wales lead Group B with 14 points, three ahead of Belgium, who they beat 1-0 at home in June, and five clear of Israel.

Victory in the next two games would guarantee one of the two qualifying spots, as even a three-way tie with the Belgians and Bosnia would be good enough on head-to-head results.

"We’re all buzzing and want to do well for our country, but we are not thinking of qualifying yet," said goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who is hoping to win his 50th cap on Thursday, in an interview with Football Association of Wales TV.

"Cyprus were good last time and this match will be tough,"

he added. "The job is not done yet.

"But it’s in our hands and hopefully we can get it done."

Bale has bad memories of Nicosia, where Wales lost 3-1 after taking the lead eight years ago in one of their disappointing qualification campaigns.

In 1975 they reached the last eight of the European Championship, at a time when only four teams competed in the finals.

For the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, the principality missed out on goal difference and a missed penalty in the final match cost them a place in the 1994 tournament.

Then there was a playoff defeat against Russia for Euro 2004.

In 2011 Wales slumped to 117th in the FIFA rankings, with only five European teams below them. But since then their fortunes have improved spectacularly, taking them to a current highest-ever position of ninth.

Confidence in the camp is now as high as that ranking with the end of a 57-year wait beckoning.
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2015, 02:36:24 AM »
The national team’s last trip to the Middle East for a football match ended in disaster.

Coach Dollah Salleh’s side were thrashed 6-0 by Oman (ranked world No. 96) in a friendly in Muscat five months ago.

This time, the Harimau Malaya face more formidable opponents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2018 World Cup qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (11.15pm Malaysian time).

The odds are stacked heavily against an experimental Malaysian side as Dollah has been forced to call up new faces following their dismal World Cup qualifying matches at home in June – when Malaysia were held 1-1 by minnows Timor Leste and then humiliated 6-0 by war-torn Palestine.

Despite roping in Kelantan’s in-form striker Mohd Norfarhan Mohd and Harimau Muda frontrunners Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim and S. Kumaahran, the patched-up national still fired blanks in a drab draw against world No. 170 Bangladesh at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.

By all indications, the national team are in for a hiding in Abu Dhabi.

So, how will world No. 168 Malaysia take on world No. 70 UAE?

Centreback Razman Roslan, who has been recalled to the squad after a one-year lapse, said: “We have to face it ... whether we like it or not.”

“The ranking doesn’t matter anymore ... we have to accept the challenge and face the consequences,” added Razman from Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

It will be a tall order for Razman and his fellow defenders, who are likely to “park the bus” against the more superior home side, who edged Timor Leste 1-0 in their opening game.

But Razman is not giving up hope yet, saying: “I expect the team to be wiser from previous experiences”.

“After watching the opening two matches, I guess we need to minimise our mistakes. We gave away soft goals and this caused us to lose by big margins. I’m sure everyone has learnt his lesson,” he said.

Malaysia are last in the five-team group with only a point. Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are on three points with Palestine leading on better goal difference.
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 02:07:44 AM »
Malaysia was humiliated by UAE again in World cup qualifier match by losing 10-0 !!!
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2015, 07:34:25 AM »
Malaysia hit a new all-time low in their football history.

The national team were thrashed 10-0 by United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2018 World Cup qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

It was the worst result for Harimau Malaya since going down to New Zealand 8-2 in an international match played in Kuala Lumpur almost 50 years ago. 

Dollah Salleh’s boys came to Abu Dhabi looking to salvage some pride after being humiliated by war-torn Palestine 6-0 in their earlier qualifying match, but left the stadium with their tail between their legs.

The visitors were dead and buried by half-time trailing 7-0. The goals came from Mohaned Salem (15th), Ali Ahmed Mabkhout (22nd, 33rd, 75th), Ahmed Khalil (23rd, 29th, 70th, 78th), Habib Al Fardhan (25th) and Mohamed Ahmad Gharib Ali (40th).

The odds had been stacked heavily against an experimental Malaysian side as Dollah was forced to call up new faces following dismal results in their earlier qualifying matches at home in June – when Malaysia were held 1-1 by minnows Timor Leste and then thrashed by Palestine. 

The 169th ranked Malaysians were up against a formidable opponent - whose world ranking is 70.

Dollah substituted a rattled goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat after the Kelantan custodian conceded four goals in the first 25 minutes. 

Zamir Selamat came in but to no avail as UAE were in no compromising mood and hammered another three more goals just before half-time.

Zamir was then replaced by Mohd Khairul Azhan at the hour mark after picking up an injury.

Malaysia will play another tough customer No. 93 Saudi Arabia next in four days time at the Shah Alam Stadium. 

But the question is whether Dollah will still be around by then?

Malaysia was humiliated by UAE again in World cup qualifier match by losing 10-0 !!!
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 03:16:01 AM »
New Tottenham Hotspur signing Son Heung-min claimed a confidence boosting hat-trick as South Korea walloped lowly Laos 8-0 in their World Cup qualifier in Hwaseong on Thursday.

Son, who joined the English club for a reported 30 million Euros ($33.35 million) from Bayer Leverkusen last week, struck in the 17th minute to make it 2-0 after slotting in a cut back cross.

A powerful strike from an acute angle by the 23-year-old made it 5-0 in the 74th minute and he completed his first international hat-trick a minute from time with a tidy run and composed finish against a tired backline.

"Even against underdogs like Laos, it's never easy to score even one goal," Son, who had struggled of late in Germany, was quoted as saying by Yonhap News after taking his international tally to 14.

"I am happy I helped the team win tonight. It's good to build my confidence back up before joining Spurs."

The win was the Koreans second from two games in Group G ahead of Tuesday's away match in Lebanon, which Son will miss to complete paperwork related to his transfer to Spurs.

Kuwait and Myanmar are the two other teams in the group.

Only the group winners in the pool, which also serves as the qualifiers for the 2019 Asian Cup, are guaranteed a spot in the next round of matches in the continent's long road to Russia 2018.
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2015, 03:20:18 AM »

LONDON (Reuters) - Wales moved above their more illustrious neighbours England in FIFA's football world rankings for the first time on Thursday, their ninth-placed spot putting them one ahead of the English.

England, World Cup winners in 1966, dropped two places in the latest version of the rankings, while perennial minnows Wales stayed put.

The top seven spots remained unchanged with Argentina on top, Belgium second and 2014 World Cup champions Germany third.

The rankings, introduced in 1992, are determined by a points system which takes into account results of all FIFA recognised full international matches over the past four years. Different weighting is applied, with most recent results counting for more.

The only climber in the top 10 was Chile, winners of the 2015 Copa America, moving from 10th to eighth to swap places with England.

Rankings: 1 Argentina (1442 points) 2 Belgium (1269) 3 Germany (1248) 4 Colombia (1224) 5 Brazil (1209) 6 Portugal (1186) 7 Romania (1176) 8 Chile (1149) 9 Wales (1146) 10 England (1143)
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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2015, 03:45:25 AM »
Harimau Malaya coach Dollah Salleh has quit after the national team's humiliating 10-0 defeat to the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup qualifications on Thursday.

"I am responsible for the defeat and has taken the decision to quit as the national coach with immediate effect," Dollah, 51, told reporters at KLIA after returning with the team late Thursday.

With the thrashing in the qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Malaysia hit a new all-time low in their football history.

It was the worst result for Harimau Malaya since going down to New Zealand 8-2 in an international match played in Kuala Lumpur almost 50 years ago.

The team will meet Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the qualifications.

Most of the players were not surprised with the decision except for Razman Roslan, who told Dollah to stay on until the match against Saudi Arabia.

"I spoke to FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and it went well. FAM accepted my resignation.

"As a coach, we want  to end well but this happened."

Dollah said he made up his mind to quit after the match and said that the fans would not have accepted the result.

"This is football, focus is on the coach, I have to accept my fate.

"I expected defeat but not in that manner. I don't want to lie. My expectation was to lose just by a goal.

"You have to ask the players about their performance. I don't want to comment," he said.

Dollah's first achievement as coach was in 2003 when he won the Malaysia Cup with club side Selangor MPPJ.

He etched his name among Selangor fans when he guided the team to a triple in 2005 by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.

In 2013, he helped Pahang lift the Malaysia Cup after 21 years by defeating Kelantan.

In June 2014, Dollah was appointed national coach and Malaysia was runners-up in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

However, results did not go his way after the tournament as Malaysia struggled against minnows, humiliated by war-torn Palestine 6-0 in an earlier qualifying match.


Malaysia hit a new all-time low in their football history.

The national team were thrashed 10-0 by United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2018 World Cup qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

It was the worst result for Harimau Malaya since going down to New Zealand 8-2 in an international match played in Kuala Lumpur almost 50 years ago. 

Dollah Salleh’s boys came to Abu Dhabi looking to salvage some pride after being humiliated by war-torn Palestine 6-0 in their earlier qualifying match, but left the stadium with their tail between their legs.

The visitors were dead and buried by half-time trailing 7-0. The goals came from Mohaned Salem (15th), Ali Ahmed Mabkhout (22nd, 33rd, 75th), Ahmed Khalil (23rd, 29th, 70th, 78th), Habib Al Fardhan (25th) and Mohamed Ahmad Gharib Ali (40th).

The odds had been stacked heavily against an experimental Malaysian side as Dollah was forced to call up new faces following dismal results in their earlier qualifying matches at home in June – when Malaysia were held 1-1 by minnows Timor Leste and then thrashed by Palestine. 

The 169th ranked Malaysians were up against a formidable opponent - whose world ranking is 70.

Dollah substituted a rattled goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat after the Kelantan custodian conceded four goals in the first 25 minutes. 

Zamir Selamat came in but to no avail as UAE were in no compromising mood and hammered another three more goals just before half-time.

Zamir was then replaced by Mohd Khairul Azhan at the hour mark after picking up an injury.

Malaysia will play another tough customer No. 93 Saudi Arabia next in four days time at the Shah Alam Stadium. 

But the question is whether Dollah will still be around by then?

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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2015, 09:31:01 AM »
National No. 1 goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat is ashamed of the 10-0 pummeling the national football team suffered at the hands of the United Arab Emirates.

But he and his team-mates will have the chance to put Thursday’s humiliating loss behind them when they take on another Middle East giant – Saudi Arabia – at the Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday.

“Malu (shameful),” said Khairul when asked about the team’s capitulation in a World Cup qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The defeat led to national coach Dollah Salleh resigning from his post on arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Friday.

Khairul started the match but was replaced by Dollah after 25 minutes – after conceding four goals.

“It’s not that something went wrong ... it was because of our own ‘prestasi’ (performance),” said a disappointed Khairul as he tried to make sense of the national team’s worst defeat since the 8-2 loss to New Zealand in Kuala Lumpur in 1967.

Now, interim coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee needs to pick up the pieces as he takes charge over the players’ training session at Wisma FAM on Saturday.

For a start, five players, including two upstarts from Harimau Muda B – goalkeeper Ramadhan Abdul Hamid and versatile Adam Nor Hazlin – have answered the Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) call-up.

The other three are defender Mohd Fadli Shas (Johor Darul Ta’zim), winger Nurridzuan Abu Hassan (Perak) and striker Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Kelantan).

“Time is not on my side and I will make the best with the little time that I have to prepare the team,” said Kim Swee.

Malaysia’s World Cup qualifying campaign is as good as over after collecting just one point from three matches. They were held 1-1 by minnows Timor Leste and trounced 6-0 by war-torn Palestine in their earlier two home matches.


Harimau Malaya coach Dollah Salleh has quit after the national team's humiliating 10-0 defeat to the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup qualifications on Thursday.

"I am responsible for the defeat and has taken the decision to quit as the national coach with immediate effect," Dollah, 51, told reporters at KLIA after returning with the team late Thursday.

With the thrashing in the qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Malaysia hit a new all-time low in their football history.

It was the worst result for Harimau Malaya since going down to New Zealand 8-2 in an international match played in Kuala Lumpur almost 50 years ago.

The team will meet Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the qualifications.

Most of the players were not surprised with the decision except for Razman Roslan, who told Dollah to stay on until the match against Saudi Arabia.

"I spoke to FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin and it went well. FAM accepted my resignation.

"As a coach, we want  to end well but this happened."

Dollah said he made up his mind to quit after the match and said that the fans would not have accepted the result.

"This is football, focus is on the coach, I have to accept my fate.

"I expected defeat but not in that manner. I don't want to lie. My expectation was to lose just by a goal.

"You have to ask the players about their performance. I don't want to comment," he said.

Dollah's first achievement as coach was in 2003 when he won the Malaysia Cup with club side Selangor MPPJ.

He etched his name among Selangor fans when he guided the team to a triple in 2005 by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.

In 2013, he helped Pahang lift the Malaysia Cup after 21 years by defeating Kelantan.

In June 2014, Dollah was appointed national coach and Malaysia was runners-up in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

However, results did not go his way after the tournament as Malaysia struggled against minnows, humiliated by war-torn Palestine 6-0 in an earlier qualifying match.


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Re: 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2015, 07:14:59 AM »
A stunning last-minute goal from substitute Simon Dawkins took Jamaica into the next round of the World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday, destroying Nicaragua's hopes of making the fourth round of the tournament for the first time ever.

Dawkins came on in the 83rd minute and then hammered home a volley from 15 yards out to give Jamaica a 4-3 aggregate win and silence the 18,000 crowd in Managua. Darren Mattocks had given the visitors the lead after 13 minutes.

The Nicaraguans recorded a shock 3-2 win in Kingston last week and were going through on away goals until Dawkins struck with almost the last kick of the game.

It was the biggest result of a busy evening in the CONCACAF region of North, Central American and the Caribbean.

Twelve teams were competing for six spots in the penultimate stage on the road to Russia 2018.

Among the other victorious teams were Haiti, who beat Grenada 3-0 to go through 6-1 on aggregate, and Canada, who qualified 4-1 on aggregate after drawing 1-1 in Belize.

A goal six minutes from time was enough to give Saint Vincent and the Grenadines a one-goal aggregate win over Aruba and they will be joined in the next round by El Salvador who beat Curacao 1-0 to record a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Guatemala join them after their 2-0 win against Antigua and Barbuda allowed them to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.

The six winners now go into next month's group stage alongside seeds Mexico, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, the USA and Trinidad and Tobago.

The teams will be divided into three groups of four and each team will play the others in their group home and away with the top two in each group progressing to the fifth round.

The top three teams in that group of six qualify automatically for Russia in 2018, while the fourth-placed side will play off against a team from Asia for a final berth.
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