Australia to discover opponents as Qatar quest commences

The Caltex Socceroos will discover which nations they will play in their first phase of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying tonight when Asia’s Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 Draw is conducted at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

From 7.00pm (AEST) on Wednesday, Australia will be pooled alongside four other nations as a total of 40 countries set their sights on a place at the FIFA World Cup Finals in Qatar, plus a berth at the AFC Asian Cup in China in 2023. 

Based on the latest FIFA Rankings issued in June, Australia will take a position in Pot 1 for the draw alongside IR Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China PR.

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Australia will be pooled alongside a nation from each of Pots 2, 3, 4, and 5, and will play each nation home and away between September 2019 and June 2020 (eight matches).

The eight group winners and four best runners-up (12 nations) will advance to the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 finals and the final round of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Draw pots
The Caltex Socceroos will learn their opponents for the next phase of qualifying following the draw in Kuala Lumpur

The next best 24 teams from the preliminary stage of the joint qualifiers will compete in a separate competition for the remaining slots in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

“Draws for significant events like FIFA World Cup qualifying are always an exciting time for national team players, coaches, staff, and supporters,” Graham Arnold, Head Coach of the Caltex Socceroos, said. 

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“As soon as we discover our draw our staff will commence planning for the fixtures and locations that will await Australia both home and away over the coming year.

“It will be great to have some clarity on what the next year will look like for the team, and this phase of qualification offers four important games on home soil which is fantastic for the players and supporters,” he said. 

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 – Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2

Pot 1

Pot 2

Pot 3

Pot 4

Pot 5

IR Iran

Iraq

Palestine

Turkmenistan

Indonesia

Japan

Uzbekistan

India

Myanmar

Singapore

Korea Republic

Syria

Bahrain

Hong Kong

Nepal

Australia

Oman

Thailand

Yemen

Cambodia

Qatar

Lebanon

Tajikistan

Afghanistan

Bangladesh

United Arab Emirates

Kyrgyz Republic

DPR Korea

Maldives

Mongolia

Saudi Arabia

Vietnam

Chinese Taipei

Kuwait

Guam

China PR

Jordan

Philippines

Malaysia

Sri Lanka