Russian Federation 2018 World Cup ticket applications pass 2 million mark

Argentina's hopes are hanging by a thread... but who will book their place at Russia next year

Argentina's hopes are hanging by a thread... but who will book their place at Russia next year

The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying group stage matches in the European area, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and in the area of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) drew to a close on Wednesday, and their results will determine Pot 1 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage draw.

Iran, who qualified for the World Cup last month, are unbeaten in seven games. Egypt and Nigeria have already safely booked their places in Russian Federation, with Morocco, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Tunisia and DR Congo still vying for qualification.

France will book their ticket with three points against Belarus, while the Netherlands, finalists in 2010 and semi-finalists four years ago, see their hopes hanging by a thread as they bid to avoid failing to qualify for successive major tournaments for the first time since 1986, having also missed out on Euro 2016.

Europe: Belgium, England, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Russia (as hosts), Serbia, Spain, France, Portugal.

Gernot Rohr's Nigeria have booked their berth at next year's showpiece tournament, a 1-0 victory over Zambia on Saturday seeing them take an unassailable lead in their qualifying group.

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Iran, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia were the first four Asian nations to qualify.

South America: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia. Matches will be held between June 14 - July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russian Federation.

In Europe, the eight best runners-up from the qualifying stages, including Ireland, will go into next Monday's play-off draw.

The draw for the play-off takes place in Zurich on the 17th of October and we will have live coverage here at AS.

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