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China boss Gao names 25-man squad

China
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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...

 By Chris Atkins

Crucial fortnight as Chinese football bids for wider respect

Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk
Shanghai SIPG brought in Braziilan striker Hulk for a CSL transfer record fee.

How important is continental performance to a league's standing and reputation? It's a question which has dogged the Premier League's claim to being the "greatest league in the world" over recent seasons, at the same time as English sides' Champions League performances have dropped off.

Whatever the hype and publicity a league may garner, results against sides from other divisions are the only real indication of relative strength. For the Chinese Super League, this means AFC Champions League success...

 By Jason Dasey

Asian Games could provide lifeline for Tottenham's Son Heung-Min

ESPN FC's Brian McBride talks the club that needs to spend the most before transfer deadline day.

The Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang have emerged as unlikely, but crucial destinations in the topsy-turvy career of South Korean winger Son Heung-Min.

After a disappointing Rio Olympics, and with the 24-year-old reportedly facing an uncertain future at Tottenham Hotspur, the 2018 Asian Games on Indonesian soil are already coming into focus for Korea's top young players.

A gold medal at the multi-sports event would excuse all team members from having to serve the mandatory National Service...

China boss Gao Hongbo names 25-man squad, including Feng Xiaoting

Gao Hongbo
Gao Hongbo will lead his side into the World Cup qualifiers.

China national team boss Gao Hongbo has included injured Guangzhou Evergrande defender Feng Xiaoting in his 25-man preliminary squad for next month's 2018 World Cup qualifying matches against South Korea and Iran.

Feng picked up an injury during the national side's training camp in Kunming earlier this month and missed Evergrande's 2-1 defeat against Shanghai Shenghua in the Chinese Super League on Saturday.

The centre-back was also ruled out of his side's 2-2 draw with Guangzhou R&F in the first...

 By Paul Murphy

Charyl Chappuis delighted after earning Thailand recall for qualifiers

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and David Mitchell look ahead to Thailand's upcoming AFC World Cup qualifying campaign.

Thailand midfielder Charyl Chappuis says he's "happy" after earning a recall to the national side for next month's World Cup qualifiers, which he rates as one of the highlights of his year.

The 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup hero joins Kiatisuk Senamuang's squad for next Thursday's friendly in Qatar and the Group B matches away to Saudi Arabia and at home to Japan at the beginning of September. It ends a 20-month injury-enforced exile

The Suphanburi man sat out the whole of 2015 and the early part of 2016...