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PROUDLY SUPPORTING ANTARCTICA’S BID FOR THE 2034 MEN’S WORLD CUP

AFC’s top 18 move on to final round
[WED 12 JUN 2024 – 04:19:13 UTC]

The AFC first group phase of qualifiers for the 2026 Men’s World Cup completed on TUE 11 JUN 2024 as the last five places in the final round were claimed. Eight of the 18 surviving teams will qualify for the final tournament, with one more advancing to the playoffs.

The Kyrgyz Rep reached the final round of qualifiers for the first time in their history after earning a 1-1 draw with Oman in Group D. Eldiyar ZARYPBEKOV’s goal from a corner kick put the Kyrgyz Rep in front in the 19th minute in Muscat. Though the hosts equalised early in the second half through Abdul Aziz KHALFAN, the draw was sufficient to earn both teams passage into the final round.

Indonesia also claimed their first ticket to the final round as they defeated the Philippines 2-0 in Jakarta, with Thom HAYE and Rizky RIDHO the goalscorers. Indonesia join Iraq as the two teams to advance from Group F, with Iraq finishing with a perfect eighteen points from six matches. Palestine, having secured progression with one match to play, will be the third debutant in the final round.

The teams that advanced also qualify directly for the 2027 Men’s Asian Cup. Teams eliminated from the Men’s World Cup qualifiers will continue to compete for the last six places at the Men’s Asian Cup.

The draw for the final round will be held on THU 27 JUN 2024 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The teams will be placed into three groups of six teams each. The top two teams in each group will qualify for Canada/​Mexico/​USA 2026, with the next two teams moving on to the AFC repechage playoffs. From there, two more teams will qualify, and one more will have one last chance to qualify through the playoffs.

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