Vietnam to meet two Southeast Asian teams in World Cup qualifying

By Reuters   July 27, 2023 | 02:17 am PT
Vietnam to meet two Southeast Asian teams in World Cup qualifying
Coach Philippe Troussier instructs Vietnamese players during training at SEA Games 32 in Cambodia in May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Vietnam were drawn to face Iraq and two Southeast Asian teams in Asia's preliminaries for the 2026 World Cup on Thursday.

Group F will include the Philippines and Indonesia or Brunei.

Japan are in the same group with North Korea and Syria while South Korea will face China and Thailand when the second round of the continent's qualifiers kick off in November.

The Japanese will also take on the winners of a playoff between Myanmar and Macau, to be held over two legs on Oct. 12 and 17, while Korea's group is completed by either Singapore or Guam.

Australia, who reached the knockout rounds at the 2022 World Cup before losing to eventual champions Argentina, will feature in Group I alongside Palestine, Lebanon and either the Maldives or Bangladesh.

FIFA's decision to increase the size of the World Cup to 48 nations means Asia has been granted eight guaranteed berths plus a possible ninth spot at the finals available through a series of intercontinental playoffs.

Teams finishing in the top two positions in the nine groups drawn in Kuala Lumpur will advance to the third preliminary round, where three groups of six teams will compete for the World Cup spots.

Reigning Asian Cup holders Qatar, who hosted the 2022 World Cup, will face India, Kuwait and either Afghanistan or Mongolia in Group A while in Group E six-time World Cup qualifiers Iran face Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Hong Kong or Bhutan.

Saudi Arabia headlined Group G with Jordan, Tajikistan and Cambodia or Pakistan.

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and either Yemen or Sri Lanka and Nepal or Laos compete in Group H.

Asian World Cup qualifying, First Round (to be played Oct. 12 and 17):

Afghanistan v Mongolia; Maldives v Bangladesh; Singapore v Guam; Yemen v Sri Lanka; Myanmar v Macau; Cambodia v Pakistan; Taiwan v Timor Leste; Indonesia v Brunei; Hong Kong v Bhutan; Nepal v Laos.

Second Round (matches to be played from November 2023 to June 2024):

Group A: Qatar, India, Kuwait, Afghanistan or Mongolia

Group B: Japan, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar or Macau

Group C: South Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore or Guam

Group D: Oman, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Taiwan or Timor Leste

Group E: Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Hong Kong or Bhutan

Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia or Brunei

Group G: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Cambodia or Pakistan

Group H: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen or Sri Lanka, Nepal or Laos

Group I: Australia, Palestine, Lebanon, Maldives or Bangladesh

go to top