World Cup Qualifying: What’s next for Socceroos?

The Socceroos moved through to the third round of World Cup Qualifying this week after a clean sweep of Group B – winning eight games out of eight.

Graham Arnold’s side scored 28 goals and conceded just two in the second round, moving one step closer to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022.

The path now moves onto the third round, with 12 nations being split up into two groups of six. The winners and runners-up in each group (four total) will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the two third-placed teams will advance to a playoff, where they will play to determine which team will advance to the intercontinental playoff.

The draw for the third round will take place on Thursday 1 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Who has qualified?

Group winners Syria (A), Australia (B), IR Iran (C), Saudi Arabia (D), Japan (F), United Arab Emirates (G) and Korea Republic (H) are joined by the five best runners-up: China PR (A), Oman (E), Iraq (C), Vietnam (G) and Lebanon (H).

How does the draw work?

Teams will be divided into six pots according to the FIFA Ranking (see below) published on 18 June 2021: Pot 1: Teams ranked 1-2, Pot 2: 3-4, Pot 3: 5-6, Pot 4: 7-8, Pot 5: 9-10, Pot 6: 11-12.

The pot number corresponds to the position the team will be placed in the group. The first and second ball drawn from each pot will be placed in Groups A and B respectively.

The draw will begin with Pot 6, where the first ball drawn will be placed in position A6. The next ball drawn will be placed in position B6, until the sequence is completed all the way through to Pot 1.

The FIFA Ranking published on 18 June 2021
The FIFA Ranking published on 18 June 2021

When will third round games be played?

Games in the third round are scheduled to be played on the following match days: 2 September 2021, 7 September 2021, 7 October 2021, 12 October 2021, 11 November 2021, 16 November 2021, 27 January 2022, 1 February 2022, 24 March 2022 and 29 March 2022.

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