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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

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.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia...

Paulinho's Brazil hat trick highlights Chinese Super League quality - Scolari

Paulinho admitted his surprise after scoring a hat-trick against Uruguay in their World Cup Qualifier in Montevideo.

Guangzhou Evergrande coach Luiz Felipe Scolari believes the hat trick scored by Paulinho in Brazil's 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Uruguay on Thursday is further proof that a move to the Chinese Super League should not be the end of a player's international career.

Paulinho, who joined Evergrande a little over two years ago from Tottenham Hotspur, was one of three China-based players in Tite's squad as Brazil tightened their grip on top spot in South America's qualifying campaign for next year's...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Brazil still developing despite thrashing of Uruguay - Dani Alves

Paulinho admitted his surprise after scoring a hat-trick against Uruguay in their World Cup Qualifier in Montevideo.

Brazil right-back Dani Alves says Brazil are still developing despite their impressive 4-1 victory at Uruguay in World Cup qualifying on Thursday.

Midfielder Paulinho scored a hat trick and Neymar added another goal as Tite's unbeaten side fought back from an early Edinson Cavani penalty to take home an historic win over the second-placed Uruguayans and all-but-secure their place in Russia.

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Cavani's goal marked the first time Brazil had trailed in a match since the former Corinthians manager took...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Brazil call Sevilla's Mariano to replace Dani Alves against Paraguay

Paulinho admitted his surprise after scoring a hat-trick against Uruguay in their World Cup Qualifier in Montevideo.
A hat trick from Paulinho and a chip from Neymar saw Brazil past Uruguay in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.

Sevilla right-back Mariano will replace Dani Alves in the Brazil squad for their World Cup qualifier against Paraguay on Tuesday.

Alves received his second yellow card in Brazil's 4-1 defeat of Uruguay on Thursday and is suspended for the match against the Paraguayans.

Mariano, who's...