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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.


13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018...

Orlando Pirates, Etoile du Sahel ready for CAF Confederations Cup final

Orlando Pirates were able to beat Al-Ahly in the semifinals on this improbable cup run. But can they win it all?

The continent's final cup competition of the year, the CAF Confederation Cup, reaches its climax as Etoile du Sahel and Orlando Pirates compete for the second tier title. Even though this trophy does not hold the same glory as the Champions League, the Tunisians and the South Africans are promising a tough fight. Elsewhere, there has been some movement among national coaches and the Road to Rio is about to begin for Africa's U23 sides.

CAF Confederation Cup

Orlando Pirates and Etoile de Sahel...

African group stage draw for World Cup qualifying set for June 24

The Ivory Coast will learn their group stage opponents in June.

ZURICH -- The final round of African qualifying groups for the 2018 World Cup will be drawn in June.

FIFA says it agreed with the Confederation of African Football to make the 20-nation draw in Cairo on June 24.

Five groups will all have four teams, each playing opponents home and away from October 2016 through November 2017.

The five group winners will advance to the World Cup in Russia.

FIFA says seedings for the draw have not been decided.

According to the current FIFA rankings, the five top-seeded...

North Africa holds the key in WCQ; Cape Verde and Uganda impress

Libya football fans will hope their side can pull off a few shocks.

Africa's heavyweights kept it interesting in the second round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but survived scares in a bid to compete on the global stage.

Egypt and Mali recovered from first leg defeats to Chad and Botswana respectively, while Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Algeria rose to the occasion after first leg draws to advance to the final round.

The road for the 20 teams left trying to get to Russia remains long however. They will be drawn in five groups of four teams each, will play...

 By Colin Udoh

Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh moves pay off in victory vs. Swaziland

Moses Daddy Simon struck in the 51st minute to give Nigeria a 1-0 advantage.
Moses Daddy Simon struck in the 51st minute to give Nigeria a 1-0 advantage.

Nigeria progressed to the group stages of CAF World Cup qualifying with what, in the end, proved to be a routine 2-0 win over Swaziland on Tuesday.

There was not much routine about the performance, however. Swaziland made life tough for the Super Eagles and even came close to a first half goal. But they were eventually subdued by an excellent free kick from Moses Simon, and Efe Ambrose's late side-footed finish from Sylvester Igbonu's free kick. Here are five points from Tuesday's match: