World Cup qualifying ends, 32 teams are set for battle royale

Costa Rica book place at World Cup finals after playoff win over New Zealand

• Payment for tickets allocated in current sales period ends at 12 noon today

The qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 came to an end on Tuesday as Costa Rica defeated New Zealand 1-0 to secure the 32nd – and last – place at the finals taking place later this year.

Joel Campbell’s early goal sent Costa Rica to the World Cup for a third successive tournament as they edged past 10-man New Zealand in their intercontinental playoff at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium.

Wales and Australia are the other two teams to qualify for the World Cup after winning their playoffs this month against Ukraine and Peru, respectively.

Australia’s victory on Monday meant that a record six Asian teams have qualified for the global showpiece, which will be held from November 21 to December 18.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifah congratulated Australia for becoming the sixth AFC side to secure their place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. He added, “At the same time, we should also take a moment to reflect and acknowledge the incredible commitment of all our final 12 participating member associations who had to endure great challenges over the last two and a half years.”

The teams that make up the final 32 – and their groups – are as follows:

? Group A – Qatar (hosts), Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands

? Group B – England, Iran, the United States and Wales

? Group C – Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland

? Group D – France, Australia, Denmark and Tunisia

? Group E – Spain, Costa Rica, Germany and Japan

? Group F – Belgium, Canada, Morocco and Croatia

? Group G – Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon

? Group H – Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea

The matches will be played at eight state-of-the-art stadiums across Qatar: Al Bayt Stadium (capacity of 60,000), Education City Stadium (40,000), Al Janoub Stadium (40,000), Stadium 974 (40,000), Khalifa International Stadium (40,000), Al Thumama Stadium (40,000), Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (40,000) and Lusail Stadium (80,000), where the final will be held on December 18.

Meanwhile, today is the last day for making payments for the tickets allocated in the random selection draw sales period, Sales Phase 2. Those who have been allocated tickets in this period must make the payment by 12 noon (Doha time) today, failing which the allotted ticket(s) will be cancelled, FIFA has said.

Details of the next phase of ticket sales are awaited from FIFA.

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes