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World Cup Host Russia Halted by Team Melli in Friendly

12 October 2017

But all eyes are on Syria whose World Cup dream was kept alive on Thursday as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Asian champions Australia and set up a nerve-jangling play-off second leg in Sydney on Tuesday. In the days that followed, Mexico sealed top spot in the Central/North American region, then Belgium became the first European nation other than the hosts to qualify.

South America: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia.

There will be 32 teams in the tournament draw, with 31 having qualified for the tournament and Russian Federation securing their place as hosts. While Argentina had Messi, who was able to prevent his side's failure to qualify for the Russia World Cup, there were some shocking revelations made last night which saw some of the biggest footballing nations bowing out of the competition before it actually started.

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Victory means they continue a 20-year run of appearances at the finals, now at six in a row, having not been absent since winning the title on home soil since 1998.

In Africa, there are still three places up for grabs as the third and final round of qualifying enters the last two group games.

That leaves two final group stage berths for the 2018 finals still down for decision and they'll be decided by two two-legged play-off games involving countries from Asia (Australia), CONCACAF (Honduras), Oceania (New Zealand) and South America (Peru).

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Eight teams will be placed in a pot for a total of four, with one team selected from each pot to form a group.

The remaining three qualifiers will not be determined until next month.

Slovakia were the only group runner-up in Europe not to get a playoff place after being ranked ninth of nine from all the second place finishers.

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World Cup Host Russia Halted by Team Melli in Friendly