Getting to the World Cup is important stuff, especially for sides that don’t always get to play in the biggest tournament in football and last night Peru booked the final spot in next summer’s party in Russia.
World Cup qualification started quite some time back, in March 2015 with Timor-Leste v Mongolia in case you were wondering exactly when, and over two years later all 32 teams have been decided.
The final spots came down to the play-offs. As well as European sides facing each other for their final four spots there was also games between Asian representative Australia and North American side Honduras whilst Oceana’s New Zealand faced South American side Peru.
Australia celebrate whilst the Hondurans look on. Image: PA
Yesterday the Australian’s booked their place with a 3-1 win over Honduras, thanks to a hat-trick from Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak, after a 0-0 draw in the first leg.
Overnight Peru and New Zealand also started off at 0-0 after a first leg draw and Peru won 2-0 thanks to goals from Jefferson Farfan and Christian Ramos to make it to a World Cup for the first time since 1982.
With the draw just two weeks away here’s all 32 teams who will be in Russia:
Of course the tournament next summer, just 209 days away to be precise, will be missing some usual stalwarts like Netherlands, Italy and Costa Rica. The British Isles only be represented by England so Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be backing them, right?
The way the pots are it looks unlikely we’ll be getting a ‘Group of Death’ when the draw rolls around on December 1st. Even in pot one teams will feel that both the hosts and Poland are beatable.
Seeds will be hoping to get Peru in their group, or England of course.
The South American’s might be the team that the likes of France and Germany are hoping to get but last night was just there time to celebrate and boy did they look like they enjoyed it:
THE WORLD CUP IS NEARLY HERE!!!!!!