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Qatar World Cup 2022: Final play-off rounds

Qatar World Cup 2022: Final play-off rounds

The Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying play-offs will be concluded this week. While some countries have taken their spot at the tournament, we look at the other nations that might participate in the competition.

Twenty countries have already booked their place for the competition, countries like France, Belgium, England, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, Netherlands, Serbia, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador and the likes. 

World Cup roundup: Italy knocked out by North Macedonia in dramatic finale  | World Cup 2022 qualifiers | The Guardian

Italy is one of the Europe big guns that won’t be at the world cup for the second time in eight years after a shock defeat to North Macedonia in the first round of the play-offs. The Euro 2020 winners were stunned with a last minute winner by North Macedonia who will now face Portugal in the final play-off for a spot at the world cup. 

(Photo by Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Portugal secured a 3-1 victory over Turkey to set up the final play off clash with North Macedonia on Tuesday. Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese teammate will hope to avoid a surprise defeat to North Macedonia when they clash on Tuesday. Poland were given a bye to the next round of play-offs after Russia was disqualified for the country’s invasion in Ukraine. The Polish team will now face Sweden who secured a 1 nil victory over Czech Republic last week. 

The last play-off will be between Wales against the winner between Scotland and Ukraine. The play off was originally scheduled to take place this period, but it been postponed till June because of the Russian invasion. The winner in this contest takes the last European spot. 

For the CONCACAF qualifying rounds, Canada have already booked their spot,  USA and Mexico might follow suit if they win or draw their last match. Costa Rica sitting in fourth place will face off with the winner of the Oceania’s qualifying group in an inter-confederation playoff with the final coming up by 30th of March. 

The five spot given to CAF has not yet been taken by any African country with first leg already been played. Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt won their first leg tie with Nigeria and Ghana playing a goalless draw. Morocco and Dr Congo also played draw and the new African Champions, Senegal, suffered a 1-0 defeat to Egypt. The second leg of the play off games will take place on Tuesday 29th of March in a winner takes all contest. 

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Brazil, Argentina Uruguay and Ecuador have all booked their spot at the world cup with the remaining spot to be taken by either Chile, Colombia or Peru. Any team that secures the fifth place will face off with the emerging team from CONMEBOL.

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Qatar secured automatic qualification for being the host country. Saudi Arabia, Iran, South Korea and Japan are the other four teams that have progressed with a further country set to face the fifth place team from South America. So the winner between Australia versus Iraq/UAE will go against the fifth place team from CONMEBOL. 

A mini-group stage was held in Doha with New Zealand and Solomon Islands being the the top two teams. They will now go against each other on Wednesday 30th of March. The winner of the game will go on to play against the CONCACAF fourth place team which is currently held by Costa Rica 

After the play-offs have been concluded, the group stage draw will be done on Friday April 1st. The World Cup is set to take place between Monday 21st of November and Sunday 18th of December 2022. The opening ceremony will be done at the Al Bayt 60,000 capacity in Al Khor.

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