40 Asian countries have made it to the second round of the draw of the 2018 Football World Cup that will be hosted by Russia, but the so-called big four of Asia seem to be the favourites.
Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea represented the world’s most populous continent at the last edition of the tournament. They were put in relatively easy groups on the road to Russia.
Australia will take on Jordan, Bangladesh and the former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. “We will face some logistical and footballing challenges [in this group] but we'll continue to work hard to make sure we are ready for whatever challenges we face,” Australia coach Ange Postecoglou told FIFA.com.
South Korea is placed in the same group as Myanmar, Laos, Kuwait and Lebanon, while Syria takes on Singapore, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Syria. Iran will face India, Oman, Turkmenistan and Guam.
China and Qatar also fancy their chances in the second round of the qualification matches. The 40 teams are divided into 8 groups, whose winners along with the 4 best runners-up will qualify for the next round.
The second round begins in June with each team playing home and away games with the teams in their group.
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