- The situation in qualifying for Qatar 2022 in all confederations
- Perfect record for Brazil in CONMEBOL, and for Australia, Japan and Syria in AFC
- The Europe Zone will launch on the road to Qatar in March 2021
The qualifications for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 have seen many upheavals in their organization during the year 2020. But between the outbreak of hostilities in South America, or the draws in UEFA, CAF and CONCACAF, the road to world competition is emerging in all confederations. FIFA.com takes stock of the situation in all regions of the football world.
The year 2020 began with the draw for the second round of CAF qualifying. The 14 first round winners joined the 26 highest ranked African nations in the FIFA / Coca-Cola World Ranking.
From the first skimming, we will retain the historical qualification of Guinea-Bissau after a double confrontation against São Tomé and Príncipe. Djibouti It will be there for the second time in its history, after dismissing Eswatini, and avoiding away defeat for the first time in a World Cup preliminaries, after six consecutive losses. Among the heroes of this first round, Emilio Nsue scored the goal of qualifying for the Equatorial Guinea, Gerald Phiri converted a crucial late penalty for the Malawi, and Ashley Williams, 18, saved a penalty in stoppage time in the second leg, thus preserving the qualification of the Liberia, beaten (0-1) in Sierra Leone after his home success in the first leg (3-1).
For the second round, 40 teams are divided into 10 groups. The ten group winners will advance to the third round, where they will play five face-offs in home and away matches. The five winners of these oppositions qualify for Qatar 2022.
L’Algeria, reigning African champion, is a favorite in Group A. In Group D, a great nation from the Mother Continent will not see Qatar, since the Cameroon and the Ivory Coast will fight for one place. The scenario will repeat itself in Group G, with the Ghana or theSouth Africa who will have to watch the world competition from afar. As to Senegal of Sadio Mané, African Player of the Year 2019, he will have to assert his favorite status against the Congo, to the Namibia, and at Togo, former globalist.
In the AFC Zone, the second round, bringing together 40 teams divided into eight groups, has already entered the second leg phase. Without much surprise, theAustralia and the Japan have a perfect record in their respective groups after four games, but the Syria does even better, with five wins in as many matches.
Accustomed to the world event, theSaudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea have experienced more difficulties, although they are both well placed in the race for qualification. The Green Falcons are preceded by theUzbekistan (which has one more match), while the Taegeuk Warriors have a lot to do to stay in touch with the surprising Turkmenistan, leader of Group H. The situation is more complicated for RI Iran, only third in Group C, and who has almost no room for error.
Note that the first eight and the four best runners-up will qualify for the third round, which consists of two groups of six teams. The top two from each group will advance to Qatar 2022, while the top two will compete for a ticket to the intercontinental play-offs.
South America Zone
Four meetings are still too few to draw definitive conclusions, but it is already enough to see trends emerge in the CONMEBOL Zone. So the Brazil flies over the debates with four wins in four matches, a defense that only gave in twice, and an attack that struck 12 times, while Tite sometimes had to happen due to injury from Neymar, Gabriel Jesus or Coutinho. The Selection remains on 21 matches of qualifications globalists without defeat, and seems promised to maintain its perfect record of participations in the world event (21 appearances in 21 editions).
L’Argentine is doing almost as well, with three wins and a draw, the best defense in the region (tied with Brazil), and the confirmation of Lautaro Martinez’s talent in attack, which could relieve coach Lionel Scaloni of a possible Messi- addiction. TheEcuador complete the podium to everyone’s surprise. Beaten 0-1 in Argentina on his debut on the bench, Gustavo Alfaro transformed the Tri in the goal machine against Uruguay (4-2) and Colombia (6-1), and won the first Ecuadorian victory in Bolivia since 2009. But the Yellow do not want to ignite: they had started with four victories on the road to Russia 2018 and had finally remained at the dock.
To remember :
- Fourth and still undefeated (three draws, one victory), the Paraguay can count on Ángel Romero, scorer four times.
- Four goals is also Luis Suarez’s total for theUruguay, with the particularity of having scored them all from the penalty spot. With two wins and two losses, the Celeste is in fifth position.
- After returning to the world stage in 2018, the Peru hopes to come back in 2022. But Ricardo Gareca’s men are in big trouble, with just one point in four days.
- The Colombia has three more, but two heavy defeats against Uruguay (0-3) and Ecuador (1-6) made Carlos Queiroz the first manager to lose his post in this South American campaign.
- The Chili of Reinaldo Rueda is in the process of generational renewal, but the Roja is currently carried by its veterans: the six Chilean goals are the work of Arturo Vidal (4) and Alexis Sánchez (2).
- The Venezuela dreams of finally getting rid of the label of the only CONMEBOL team never to have taken part in the World Cup. For this, the Red wine builds on several U-20 vice world champions in 2017 and clinched his first success on Matchday 4.
- The Bolivia has little illusions about her participation in Qatar 2022, but she was hoping to at least take advantage of the home advantage. Unfortunately the Verde lost both matches in La Paz and brings up the rear.
North, Central America and Caribbean zone
Qualifying has not yet started in CONCACAF, but the draw for the 1st round was carried out last August. Based on the FIFA Ranking of July 2020, the 30 lowest-ranked member associations in the region have been divided into six groups.
The six group winners will face each other in a second round consisting of three predetermined knockout matches (home and away matches). The three victorious countries will advance to the final round, where they will be joined by the five best-placed CONCACAF teams in the FIFA Ranking of July 2020 (Costa Rica, United States, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico). After a round-trip championship, the top three qualify for Qatar 2022 and the fourth-ranked team will have to play in an intercontinental play-off.
Qualifying has not yet started in the UEFA Zone, the draw of which took place on December 7.
The ten group winners will qualify directly for Qatar 2022 and the ten second-placed teams will compete in the play-offs. The play-offs will also include the top two group winners of the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League if they do not qualify directly for Qatar 2022 or for the play-offs. The 12 teams will be divided into three sections with knockout matches, in order to define the last three European representatives at the world event.
Qualifications have not yet started in the OFC Zone. These will concern the 11 member associations of the region: Fiji, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, American Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Vanuatu. The best team in the region after qualifying will play an intercontinental jump-off.