FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Pulisic, Ronaldo, Lewandowski into finals; Ibrahimovic, Salah miss out

With 20 countries, including the host, Qatar, already qualified, the final round of matches will determine nine more countries, with the inter-confederation playoffs and a remaining postponed fixture in June.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal will be in action against North Macedonia, a side that caused a major upset by eliminating Euro 2020 Champion, Italy in its previous match.   -  REUTERS

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first World Cup in the middle-east and the last one with 32 countries, with FIFA planning to expand the tournament to 48 nations from 2026.

Read the Portugal vs North Macedonia highlights here: Portugal vs North Macedonia Live, WC play-offs: Starting lineups, streaming info, match updates

When is the World Cup draw?

The FIFA World Cup draw is scheduled to happen on April 1 and by then, 29 of the 32 participating countries will already be decided with the playoffs and qualifiers in the upcoming couple of days.

The two inter-confederation playoffs, scheduled in June and the match between Wales and the winner of Scotland vs Ukraine will be the ones determining the final spots of the World Cup later.

Which teams have qualified for the World Cup?

So far, 27 of the 32 countries have been decided with the final round of playoffs. Two more countries will be decided with USA, Costa Rica and Mexico in action tomorrow (March 31).

The qualified countries from their respective regions are as follows:

  • Asia - Iran, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (as host nation)
  • Europe - Belgium, France, England, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, Portugal and Poland
  • Africa - Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon
  • South America - Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay
  • North America - Canada, USA, Mexico

RELATED | Who have qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2022?

World Cup Qualifications in detail:

1. Europe – UEFA

How many slots does UEFA have for the World Cup?

Europe has 13 slots for the 2022 World Cup. Ten teams have already qualified with the remaining three decided through playoffs.

Who all have qualified?

Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, England and Germany have topped their respective UEFA Qualification group stages to earn automatic qualification.

Poland and Portugal won the playoffs to book their respective spots for the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Only one of Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will seal a place for the Qatar 2022 World Cup as Poland faces Sweden in the qualifying knockouts. (File Photo)   -  REUTERS

 

When were the matches?

The matches were played on March 30, with a 12:15 am kick-off IST.

The third qualifier between Wales and the winner of Scotland vs Ukraine will be decided on a later date, with the Scotland-Ukraine postponed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Poland vs Sweden -- Poland through to the finals
  • Portugal vs North Macedonia -- Portugal through to the final
  • Wales vs (Winner of Scotland vs Ukraine) – postponed

RELATED | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Bruno's brace seals Portugal World Cup spot

Where to watch?

Read Portugal vs North Macedonia highlights here: Portugal vs North Macedonia Live, WC play-offs: Starting lineups, streaming info, match updates

The UEFA World Cup qualifiers can be watched live on the Sony Ten network and streamed live on Sony LIV

2. Africa – CAF

How many slots does UEFA have for the World Cup?

Africa has five slots for the 2022 World Cup. Five teams will muscle out their automatic qualifications in the playoffs.

Who all have qualified?

Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon and Tunisia have qualified from Africa through the playoffs.

Mohamed Salah will face his club teammate Sadio Mane when Egypt plays Senegal in the return leg for the qualifying knockouts.   -  REUTERS

 

Which teams can qualify?

With the play-offs done, no other team can qualify for the world cup finals from Africa for Qatar 2022.

RELATED | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Cameroon stuns Algeria, books ticket to Qatar  

When were the matches?

The third round playoffs had the second legs played on March 29 and March 30 respectively.

March 29 matches: 10:30 pm kick-off (IST)

  • Nigeria vs Ghana -- Ghana through to the finals
  • Senegal vs Egypt -- Senegal through to the finals

RELATED | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Mane fires winning penalty to propel Senegal to finals

March 30 matches: 1 am kick-off (IST)

  • Algeria vs Cameroon -- Cameroon through to the finals
  • Morocco vs DR Congo -- Morocco through to the finals
  • Tunisia vs Mali -- Tunisia through to the finals

3. Asia — AFC

How many slots does AFC have for the World Cup?

Asia has 4.5 slots for the 2022 World Cup. Four teams have already qualified with the remaining half to decide its fate through inter-confederation playoffs.

Who all have qualified?

South Korea, Iran, Japan and Saudi Arabia have bagged the top two places of their respective groups in the third round of AFC Qualifiers to earn automatic qualification into the Qatar World Cup.

RELATED | Iran becomes the first Asian country to Qualify for FIFA World Cup 2022

Which other team can qualify?

The fourth round will see Australia playing the third placed team in Group A of the AFC Qualification group – which turned out to be UAE after it beat South Korea 1-0 on Tuesday.

The winner of the fourth round will play the fifth-placed team in the World Cup Qualifiers of CONMEBOL, Peru, with the winner of this fixture sealing a spot for Qatar.

When were the matches?

The remaining round 3 fixtures to decide Australia’s opponent in the fourth round took place on March 30.

Round 3 fixtures (all timings in IST)

  • Iran vs Lebanon — 5 pm -- Iran alreaddy qualified
  • Syria vs Iraq — 7:15 pm -- both sides eliminated
  • UAE vs South Korea — UAE through to the Round 4 playoff

RELATED | UAE win sets up World Cup qualifying playoff against Australia

Round 4 match — Australia vs UAE — June 7

Inter-confederation playoffs – June 13 or 14

4. South America – CONMEBOL

How many slots does CONMEBOL have for the World Cup?

South America has 4.5 slots for the 2022 World Cup. Four teams have already qualified with the remaining half to decide its fate through inter-confederation playoffs.

Argentina and Brazil have earned automatic qualifications with their brilliant runs in the group stages, with Uruguay and Colombia following them. (File Photo)   -  REUTERS

 

Who all have qualified?

Brazil and Argentina gained initial qualifications, with Ecuador and Uruguay joining them in the automatic qualification spots last week.

Which other team can qualify?

Peru secured the the fifth spot, and is set to face the round 4 winner from Asia for a World Cup final berth. The winner of Australia vs UAE will face the South American side for the inter-confederation playoff in June.

RELATED | FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers: Peru qualifies for playoffs, Chile and Colombia out

When were the matches?

The final round of matches took place on March 30 with a 5:00 am kick-off (IST).

  • Peru vs Paraguay -- Peru through to the inter-confederation playoffs
  • Chile vs Uruguay -- Chile eliminated
  • Venezuela vs Colombia -- Colombia eliminated

5. North America – CONCACAF

How many slots does CONCACAF have for the World Cup?

North America has 3.5 slots for the 2022 World Cup. One team has already qualified with the remaining to be decided through the final round of matches as well as the half to be decided through inter-confederation playoffs.

Who all have qualified?

Canada made history when it made the cut for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, qualifying for the first time since 1986 (from that region). Mexico and the USA followed Canada at second and third places respectively.

The Canadian National Team celebrates after beating Jamaica as the team qualified for the world cup after 36 years.   -  REUTERS

 

Which other teams can qualify?

Costa Rica, remain in contention for qualification and would play the winner of the qualifier from Oceania in the inter-confederation playoff.

RELATED | Canada beats Jamaica to end 36-year World Cup finals drought

When are the matches?

The final round of matches had all the three in action on March 31 with a 6:35 am kick-off (IST)

  • Costa Rica vs USA -- USA through to the finals
  • Mexico vs El Salvador -- Mexico through to the finals

6. Oceania – OCF

Which team can qualify?

New Zealand and Solomon Islands will play out the Oceania final for a place in the inter-confederation playoff against the fourth-placed side from CONCACAF. The winner of this playoff will qualify for the World Cup.

When is the match?

The Oceania final will be played on March 30 with a 10:30 pm kick-off (IST).

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :