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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...

 By Tom Marshall

Juan Carlos Osorio to continue as Mexico coach

ESPN FC's John Sutcliffe discusses Juan Carlos Osorio's future ahead of his meeting with the Mexican federation on Wednesday.
One Nacion's John Sutcliffe and Rafael Ramos discuss Juan Carlos Osorio's future as the head coach of Mexico.
The ESPN FC crew discuss Mexico's 7-0 defeat against Chile in the Copa America quarterfinals.
One Nacion's John Sutcliffe and Rafael Ramos review Mexico's Copa America, that ended with a devastating 7-0 loss to Chile.
ESPN FC's John Sutcliffe breaks down Mexico's horrific meltdown against Chile in their quarterfinal that saw them lose 7-0.
Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio was ashamed following their 7-0 Copa America quarterfinals loss to Chile.

Juan Carlos Osorio will remain as head coach of Mexico's national team, following a period of reflection after the Copa America Centenario quarterfinal 7-0 loss to Chile last Saturday.

The Mexican federation's (FMF) general secretary, Guillermo Cantu, held a news conference in Mexico City on Thursday to ratify Osorio, who was hired last October.

"Dismantling everything would be an error, which is why we've decide to continue with the project," said Cantu. "If we trust in the methodology of a person...

 By Nayib Moran

Mexico, U.S. experience reality check in Copa America Centenario

ESPN FC's John Sutcliffe discusses Juan Carlos Osorio's future ahead of his meeting with the Mexican federation on Wednesday.

HOUSTON -- In the Copa America Centenario, the U.S. men's national team finished among the final four; Mexico's national team didn't. However when both teams played against their toughest opponents in the tournament -- Mexico vs. Chile in the quarterfinals and the U.S. vs. Argentina in the semifinals -- both teams failed significantly.

Argentina scored four goals against Jurgen Klinsmann's USMNT, while Chile tallied seven against Juan Carlos Osorio's El Tri. CONCACAFs main sides conceded 11 goals...

 By Tim Vickery

CONCACAF presenting challenge to CONMEBOL on eve of Copa

Before Brazil's warm up friendly against Panama, Brazilian TVs pundits, former stars Junior and Casagrande, agreed that Dunga's team took the field with the obligation of winning by a big margin. A second minute goal hinted that this might be the case. But Brazil had to be satisfied with a 2-0 goal victory in a pleasing match which whetted the appetite for the Copa America Centenario.

The match in Denver ended up being of interest for two reasons:

One is the way in which Brazil approached the game....

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FIFA fines Mexico for 'homophobic chants' from fans

FIFA has sanctioned Mexico for offensive chants from fans in the stands during matches.

The Mexican Football Federation has lost its appeal before FIFA of the fine and warning it received for what the organisation deemed "homophobic chants from supporters."

FIFA also fined Croatia and ordered them to play two World Cup qualifying matches in empty stadiums for repeated cases of fans chanting fascist slogans.

In January, Mexico appealed the sanction for fans' actions during El Tri's 3-0 victory over El Salvador in World Cup qualifying in Estadio Azteca on Nov. 13 last year. Argentina,...