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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.

Qualified nations: Brazil, Iran

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

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

 By Jason Dasey

Australia's valiant Confederations Cup showing, Mile Jedinak's spot in doubt

Tim Cahill and Ange Postecoglou reflect on Australia's 1-1 draw with Chile that ended their Confederations Cup run.

Australia's encouraging Confederations Cup performance proved that while there should be a 2018 World Cup place for Tim Cahill, there may not be room for another ex-Premier League player in Mile Jedinak.

It also vindicated coach Ange Postecoglou's bold, if risky, attacking approach, suggesting that his contentious 3-2-4-1 formation could be a goer -- if the right pieces of the puzzle are in place.

That would mean continuing to play Mark Milligan as a centre-back, rather than in midfield, after his...

 By Paul Murphy

Charyl Chappuis joins Muang Thong United, targets Thailand title

At a young age, Charyl Chappuis' passion for football was ignited. Delve into the story of how his love for the game has evolved.
In 2014, Thailand national team and Suphanburi midfielder, Charyl Chappuis, suffered a devastating injury. Following a 16-month layoff, he made his return to football. Here's his story.

Thailand international midfielder Charyl Chappuis is targeting a Thai League (T1) title after being added to the mid-season reinforcements of champions Muang Thong United.

The club are preparing for life after Chanathip Songkrasin, with the Southeast Asian superstar due to leave for J-League club Consadole Sapporo this week.

Thailand international Chappuis joins from Suphanburi, where he has spent the last three years, hoping to enjoy the success that eluded him at the ambitious but underachieving...

Son Heung-Min out for month after surgery on broken arm - Korea FA

ESPNFC's Tottenham correspondent Dan Kilpatrick believes Spurs may struggle to compete financially in the transfer market.
Harry Kane aspires to emulate Ronaldo and Messi's Ballon d'Or glory, and believes he can achieve that at Tottenham.
ESPN's Tottenham correspondent Dan Kilpatrick tells us who he thinks Tottenham will sign this summer.
Stewart Robson explains why Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon isn't right for Liverpool and instead may be sought after by Spurs.
Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino says he's not worried about the club playing their home matches at Wembley next season.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Son Heung-Min is expected to be sidelined for a month after undergoing successful surgery on a broken arm on Friday, the Korean Football Association (KFA) has said.

Son, 24, landed awkwardly on his right arm in the 33rd minute of South Korea's World Cup qualifying defeat to Qatar on Tuesday, leaving the pitch in visible discomfort.

"The operation was successful," KFA Spokesman Cho Jun-Heon told AFP, adding that Son would remain in South Korea to focus on his recovery.

Although...

 By John Duerden

Carlos Queiroz insists that Iran 'will not go to Russia as tourists'

Serdar Azmoun and Mehdi Taremi scored in each half to punch Iran's ticket to the 2018 World Cup.

Carlos Queiroz has been making history this week with Iran, and he wants to do so again next summer.

On June 12, Team Melli, as the national team is known, qualified for the World Cup -- the first time they'll be in back-to-back competitions -- and now their sights are set on a debut appearance in the knockout stages.

Not long before midnight at the iconic Azadi Stadium in Tehran, the Mozambique-born manager was thrown into the air by his squad of Iranian players after they had defeated Uzbekistan...