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Russia
Ivory Coast
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2
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Mexico
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1:50 AM UTC Mar 25, 2017
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2:30 AM UTC Mar 25, 2017
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Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea
TahitiTahiti
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3
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Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands
TahitiTahiti
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New ZealandNew Zealand
New CaledoniaNew Caledonia
2
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TahitiTahiti
Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands
1
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FT
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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...

Wellington Phoenix demand A-League relook during international breaks

Wellington celebrate Roy Krishna's goal.
The Wellington Phoenix will be without seven players due to the international break when they face the Newcastle Jets.

The Wellington Phoenix have run out of patience with Football Federation Australia (FFA), issuing a vigorous demand for an international window in the A-League.

In a strongly-worded statement, Phoenix general manager David Dome says the integrity of the competition is undermined by the FFA's refusal to budge on the issue.

The problem is highlighted again this Sunday when a Phoenix side missing seven key players -- six All Whites and Fijian Roy Krishna -- host the Newcastle Jets in a key fixture.

Wellington Phoenix FCWellington Phoenix FC
Newcastle JetsNewcastle Jets
6:00 AM UTC
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Dome...

Sylvain Graglia scores brace as Tahiti beat Papua New Guinea

Papua New GuineaPapua New Guinea
TahitiTahiti
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Tahiti moved into pole position in Group B of Oceania World Cup qualifying with a 3-1 win away at Papua New Guinea on Thursday.

PNG, who last year lost to New Zealand on penalties in the final of the OFC Nations Cup, opened the scoring in Port Moresby in first-half injury time through Nigel Dabingyaba.

Sylvain Graglia equalised just before the hour and he turned the game around with his second five minutes from time. Teaonui Tehau put the result beyond doubt with the third in added...

Shane Smeltz urges FFA to reschedule Wellington-Newcastle game

An early red card ensured that the Newcastle Jets couldn't keep up with the Brisbane Roar.

Wellington Phoenix striker Shane Smeltz has called on the FFA to reschedule his side's round 24 clash with Newcastle.

The March 26 fixture in Wellington is scheduled just 24 hours after New Zealand's All Whites play Fiji in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Lautoka.

It also falls just two days before the return leg in the Kiwi capital.

Many of the Phoenix's key players, including Kosta Barbarouses, Andrew Durante, Glen Moss and potentially Smeltz, will be forced to miss the Jets match.

In-form winger...

New Zealand football legend Steve Sumner dies, aged 61

Steve Sumner, who captained the New Zealand football team that played at the 1982 World Cup after the longest qualifying campaign in the tournament's history, died on Wednesday. He was 61.

New Zealand Football said Sumner had died from prostate cancer, which was first diagnosed in 2015.

English-born Sumner led New Zealand through a 15-match qualifying campaign which included matches against Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, China, China Taipei, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.