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Lippi upbeat despite China setback

China
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

Qualified nations: Brazil, Iran

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of...

 By AAP

FIFA approves Saudi Arabia-Japan move, Australia made to wait

Head coach Ange Postecoglou wants to keep testing his team against the very best despite being knocked out of the Confederations Cup.
Tim Cahill and Ange Postecoglou reflect on Australia's 1-1 draw with Chile that ended their Confederations Cup run.
Nick Ames and Mark Ogden recap the draw between Chile and Australia, and highlight the Aussies' surprising performance.

Australia may not know its 2018 World Cup fate until the morning after their must-win clash against Thailand.

Owing to time differences and expected scorching temperatures in Western Asia, FIFA has determined the final round of Asian Group B qualifiers due to be played on Tuesday, Sept. 5 will not kick off simultaneously.

That could mean a nervous wait -- or a sleepless night -- for fans hoping for certainty from Australia's match against Thailand, which will be played at 8 p.m. local time at Melbourne's...

 By Paul Murphy

Thailand sound World Cup warning to Socceroos by winning King's Cup

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down Thailand's resilient 1-1 draw with the UAE in World Cup Qualifying.
ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and David Mitchell look ahead to Thailand's upcoming AFC World Cup qualifying campaign.
Thailand striker Siroch Chatthong
A decisive spot kick from Siroch Chatthong, right, gave Thailand victory in the King's Cup final.

Two clean sheets helped steer Thailand to King's Cup victory on Sunday night, highlighting a new-found defensive strength that will give Australia food for thought ahead of their vital World Cup qualifier in Melbourne in September.

Goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan was the hero as the Thais defended their title in the four-team invitational tournament with a shoot out victory over Belarus after a goalless draw at Rajamangala Stadium. Kawin saved twice to seal a 5-4 win on penalties after a 3-0 victory...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Suzuki Cup champs Thailand beat Belarus on pens, retain King's Cup

Jason Dasey and PJ Roberts break down Thailand's resilient 1-1 draw with the UAE in World Cup Qualifying.
Theerathon Bunmathan of Thailand
Theerathon Bunmathan was named man of the match as Thailand retained the King's Cup.

Southeast Asian champions Thailand retained the King's Cup after defeating Belarus in Sunday's final in Bangkok.

The Thais, who won their second consecutive AFF Suzuki Cup last December, prevailed 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 0-0.

The triumph came after Milovan Rajevac's side had defeated North Korea 3-0 in Friday's semifinal.

The Serbian took over from Kiatisuk Senamuang in May and has secured some impressive results, despite the absence of several key players.

They held United Arab...

Socceroos to host Thailand at Melbourne's AAMI Park

Head coach Ange Postecoglou wants to keep testing his team against the very best despite being knocked out of the Confederations Cup.

Football Federation Australia said on Saturday that the Socceroos will play Thailand at Melbourne's AAMI Park on Sept. 5 in their final World Cup qualifying group game.

Australia coach Ange Postecoglou has previously said he doesn't mind where the game is held, as long as the pitch gives his squad the best possible home advantage on the road to Russia 2018.

The third-place Socceroos are locked in a Group B fight with Japan -- whom they play away on Aug. 31 -- and Saudi Arabia for the two automatic...