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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.

The draw for the main sections of qualifying takes place on Saturday, July 25, 2015.

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018...

Singapore centurion Amri ready for Syria in World Cup qualifier

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and Alistair Edwards preview AFC World Cup qualifying action involving Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

Striker Khairul Amri believes that Singapore can get a positive result when they take on Syria in a AFC World Cup qualifier in Oman on Thursday.

The Lions are top of Group E after a 4-0 win in Cambodia followed by a brave point away to Japan in Saitama in their two June qualifiers. Avoiding defeat in Muscat would see them stay top of the five team pool in the second round.

Amri earned his 100th cap as Bernd Stange's charges lost 4-0 to Qatar in a friendly in Doha. But, instead of talking about his...

 By John Duerden

Carlos Queiroz looks for 'miracle' as Iran target World Cup return

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz is preparing to guide Team Melli to their second straight WC ahead of Thursday's qualifier vs. Guam.

Carlos Queiroz never seems to age, with only a lengthening CV providing proof of passing time.

It makes for impressive reading, but the 62-year-old still wants to do more. "I am attracted to the idea of taking four different national teams to a World Cup because only one or two guys have done that and it would be nice for my coaching career," Mozambique-born Queiroz told ESPN FC.

It would be quite a feat, but at the moment the Portuguese coach is focusing on taking Iran -- his third national team...