A new qualifier for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has been confirmed: Iran. They are the second Asians to sign up, after the hosts, while South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Australia will gouge out their eyes for the other direct tickets.
By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).
Iran became the 14th national team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after a 1-0 win over Iraq.
Mehdi Taremi, Porto striker, gave the pass to those led by Dragan Skocic three days before the end of the Asian qualifying phase in group A.
Mehdi Taremi finally lands at 4:35am this morning in Tehran – after being stuck 4️⃣ gruelling days in a Turkish airport.
Just a little over 1️⃣2️⃣ hours after landing, he starts and scores the the World Cup-clinching goal for Iran.
What. A. Player. ?pic.twitter.com/TDUl8ZpXEz
— Persian Soccer (@prznsoccer) January 27, 2022
The Persian team has collected 19 points from a possible 21 that have given them a pass for their third consecutive FIFA World Cup.
In Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018 they did not go beyond the groups, but in the last round, where they were left out due to goal difference, they played a very worthy role with a draw against Portugal, victory over Morocco and loss by just one goal against Spain. They bothered at all times.
South Korea and Saudi Arabia one step away
Another team that is close to qualifying is South Korea: second in group A, their victory in Lebanon by one goal, thanks to Gue-Son Cho’s goal, placed them one step away from the prize.
If they add one more point on the next date against Syria, they will be qualified for the World Cup directly.
In Asia Group B, goals from Yuka Osako and Junya Ito gave Japan a 2-0 victory over China, which has not played a World Cup since 2002 and has run out of options to go direct, and left to the Japanese in direct classification above Australia.
China NT are defeated 2:0 by Japan in the FIFA World Cup qualifier away from home in Saitama. Japan were awarded a penalty in the 12' due to Wang Shenchao's handball. Yuya Osako converted the penalty to take the lead. Junya Ito doubled the lead in the 2nd half. pic.twitter.com/lxCSgYBwZ7
— Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) January 27, 2022
The team that is from Oceania and participates in Asia comfortably beat Vietnam 4-0 and is almost assured, even if it is, the playoff.
In the same group, the leader is Saudi Arabia with 16 points and one game in hand after beating Oman by the minimum thanks to Firas Albirakan’s goal.
The Saudis are on their way to qualifying directly, but in the last three rounds they will have to face Japan and Australia, two direct rivals who want, like everyone else, to reach the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 without having to fall in the playoffs.
FULL TIME! ⏰
?? Saudi Arabia 1️⃣-0️⃣ Oman ??
— #WAC2022 (@afcasiancup) January 27, 2022
Everyone wants to avoid this last option since they can be paired against tough rivals from South America or CONCACAF, two confederations that, a priori, are stronger and have a better level.
The only time any of these teams were able to advance in such a way was for the 2006 World Cup, when Australia miraculously beat Uruguay on penalties.
The Tom Rogic goal that made it 2-0!
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) January 27, 2022
With 14 qualified countries, there are only 18 teams left to enter a World Cup that will start on November 21.
In Europe there are Spain, Serbia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Croatia, France, England, Belgium and Germany, while in South America Argentina and Brazil have obtained direct passage and in Asia the locals will go, Qatar, as host, and Iran .
— #WAC2022 (@afcasiancup) January 26, 2022