The clock ticking on the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia is in its final lap. The days are turning into hours and the hours into minutes. For that reason let’s turn our attention to the next continent whose representatives are going to Russia, the continent of Asia. The representatives of Asia had a wonderful journey worth mentioning.
Their journey started from 12th March 2015 to 10th October 2017 spanning a period of 2 years. The representatives became victors by triumphing from 46 opponents or competitors. All the qualifiers were played in a home and away format whether in groups or play-offs. The victors are Iran, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Australia. These teams mentioned above will represent Asia because of their hard work and success.
HOW IRAN GOT TO RUSSIA.
Iran participated fiercely in the qualifiers to secure her ticket to Russia. Iran was able to skip the 1st round due to her FIFA ranking at the time. That automatically ushered her into the next stage which was round 2. Round 2 was made up of 8 groups with 5 teams each. Iran found herself in Group D with Oman, Turkmenistan, Guam and India as opponents.
Iran advanced to the 3nd round by going unbeaten and topping the group with 20 points. In the 3rd round Iran was placed in group A where the two top teams qualified automatically to Russia. The teams played in a home and away fixture to determine the victors. Her competitors were South Korea, Syria, Uzbekistan, China PR and Qatar.
Iran again went unbeaten and topping the group with 22 points to qualify. She made it to Russia without suffering a single defeat. Her journey to Russia was an exciting one, which is why a lot is expected of them when the tournament kicks off.
HOW JAPAN GOT TO RUSSIA.
Japan like Iran started her qualifiers from the 2nd round. That was possible because of her FIFA ranking at the time. Japan contested the qualifiers with all their might and strength. Japan was in Group E with Syria, Singapore, Afghanistan and Cambodia. Like Iran, Japan also qualified to the next round in an unbeaten manner. She posted 7 wins and a draw with no goal conceded.
Japan progressed into the next round with that perfect record. In Group B, Japan was pitted with Saudi Arabia, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Thailand. Though Japan couldn’t replicate the same record in the 3nd round, she did enough. It was enough to place her 1st in Group B. Japan topped the group by posting 6 wins, 2 draws and 2 loses. Japan was the second nation to qualify to the world cup behind Iran.
HOW SOUTH KOREA GOT TO RUSSIA.
South Korea was the third nation to qualify to Russia in Asia. She did so after Iran and Japan. South Korea was not involved in the 1st round courtesy of her FIFA ranking prior to the fixtures. She therefore began her expedition to Russia from the 2nd round. Group G was home to South Korea, Lebanon, Kuwait, Myanmar and Laos. Things went well for South Korea that she topped the group with 24 points. It was a perfect record that resulted in 8 wins and 0 goals conceded.
The result catapulted South Korea into the 3rd round. In round 3 South Korea was paired with Iran, Syria, Uzbekistan, China PR and Qatar. Things did not go as well for South Korea as it did in the 2nd round. She posted 4 wins 3 draws and 3 loses out of the 10 matches played. The performance was still enough to see her place 2nd and qualify automatically.
HOW SAUDI ARABIA GOT TO RUSSIA.
Saudi Arabia qualified to Russia after Iran, Japan and South Korea. She did so by competing as if her life depended on it. Like the 3 teams above to qualify, she was also able to skip the 2nd round. The FIFA ranking she had accounted for that. Saudi Arabia qualified as champions of Group A. 6 wins and 2 draws made that possible. United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Malaysia and Timor-Leste were in the same group with Saudi Arabia.
That performance saw Saudi Arabia progress to the next round or 3rd round. Saudi Arabia was in Group B for the 3rd round. Japan, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Thailand were her group competitors. Saudi Arabia placed second in the group to qualify straight forward. A run of 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 loses helped achieved that. Her journey to Russia was a fairly simple one.
HOW AUSTRALIA GOT TO RUSSIA.
The last of the Asian representatives who made it to Russia is Australia. Australia like the four nations above did not participate in the 1st round. She joined the qualifiers from the 2nd round. In the 2nd round she was in Group B with Jordan, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan and Bangladesh. Australia posted 7 wins and 1 loss from the group which resulted in 21 points. That results put Australia at the top of Group B.
The 3rd round awaited her after that incredible performance. Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate, Iraq and Thailand joined Australia in Group B. Australia recorded 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 loses to place 3rd in the Group. That qualified her to play home and away against Syria the 3rd placed team in Group A. Australia beat Syria by a 3-2 aggregate score.
Australia still had to play an intercontinental play-off against Honduras of Concacaf. She beat her by 3 goals to 1. That finally secured her ticket to Russia.
RUSSIA WELCOMES ASIA.
The representatives of Asia go to Russia in a few hours’ time knowing they are welcomed. They go knowing the tournament in Russia is theirs for the taking.
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