Countries hailing from Asia aren’t infamous or characterized for being some of the top national sides in the entire world but nonetheless, excitement is starting to build up after the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Asia was completed and it has resulted in a number of interesting match ups.
The draw wrapped up with the following teams and groups being created:
Group A: U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Palestine, East Timor, Malaysia
Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh
Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong
Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam
Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia
Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei
Group G: South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos
Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, North Korea, Yemen
China has become one of the favorites of qualifying into the upcoming 2018 World Cup after being pitted in what seems to be a fairly simply group which consists of: Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan and Hong Kong with almost none of those teams posing a real challenge or threat. The last time that the Chinese side managed to actually qualify and make it into the group stages of any World Cup was back in 2002 and they are hungry on returning to those spots.
The United Arab Emirates is another one of the national sides that are being earmarked as one of the favorites on advancing through, especially after their recent 3rd place run in the AFC Asian Cup where the team of Mahdi Ali was able to claim victories over: Qatar and Bahrain in the group stages and reached the semi-finals before eventually being eliminated by Australia.
This draw took place in Kuala Lumpur and these nations will have to face off in order into the final qualifying rounds for the 2018 World Cup which is going to be hosted by Russia.