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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.



13 places

• European qualifying home page

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


ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Milovan Rajevac appointed Thailand coach, will earn same salary as Kiatisuk

At a young age, Charyl Chappuis' passion for football was ignited. Delve into the story of how his love for the game has evolved.
FC's Jason Dasey and Dez Corkhill review Muangthong United's remarkable ACL run, as they look to advance to the Rd. of 16.
TCL presents the story of Indonesian footballer Martunis, who after the 2004 Tsunami was offered the chance to meet Cristiano Ronaldo and train with Sporting Lisbon.
New Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac at 2010 World Cup
Milovan Rajevac, far right, is best known for taking Ghana to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup.

Former Ghana and Algeria boss Milovan Rajevac has been confirmed as the new head coach of Thailand on a one-year contract.

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) made the appointment on Wednesday, choosing from a three-man shortlist that also included Brazilian Marcos Paqueta and Germany's Winfried Schaefer.

But the Serbian was always considered the front runner, with ESPN FC quoting sources last weekend who said he was likely to get the job.

Rajevac, who took Ghana to the quarterfinals of the 2010...

 By Paul Murphy

Milovan Rajevac 'already chosen' as Thailand national coach - report

Claudio Ranieri and Alejandro Sabella are the latest to be linked to become the next manager of the Thailand national team.
Milovan Rajevac's modest wage demands mean that he is likely to given the Thailand national coaching job.

Former Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac has "already been chosen" as Thailand head coach following the surprise resignation of Kiatisuk Senamuang last month, according to Thai-language media reports.

Rajevac almost took Ghana to the last four of the 2010 World Cup, and this achievement has apparently seen him impress the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) enough to hand him the task of taking over from Kiatisuk.

The 63-year-old Serbian's wage demands have also reportedly been one of the factors in...

 By Jason Dasey

Rhys Williams prepares for A-League final as father battles in Malaysia

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down all the compelling storylines ahead of the A-League elimination finals.
Melbourne City's Tim Cahill warns those who doubt him ahead of City's A-League finals match with Perth Glory.
The veteran, Thomas Broich drops a bombshell on Finals eve.
Western Sydney's Jack Clisby feels despite the Wanderers' poor record versus Brisbane, they can certainly turn it around.

They're in the same time zone, but that's where the footballing similarities end for Australia international Rhys Williams and his English-born father, Eric. Rhys heads into the A-League finals this weekend, aiming to help Perth Glory knock out Tim Cahill's Melbourne City, while Eric is simply hoping to see out the month with Malaysian strugglers, Melaka United.

Williams senior has watched his eldest son's ups and down in his return after 11 years in England, and even offered to bring him to the...

 By Paul Murphy

Thailand interview ex-Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac for head coach

Claudio Ranieri and Alejandro Sabella are the latest to be linked to become the next manager of the Thailand national team.
Milovan Rajevac coached Ghana to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Former Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac became the latest candidate to be interviewed for the position of Thailand head coach on Tuesday as technical director Witthaya Laohakul suggested that someone could be appointed by the end of the week.

The Serbian, who took Ghana to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010, is the third coach to formally meet the FAT after former Thailand boss Winfried Schaefer and ex-Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen.

Following a successful two years with Ghana,...