FIFA 2022 World Cup - Which Teams Have Already Qualified?

newsonjapan.com -- Apr 18
We’re less than eight months away from the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Usually, the biggest sports event on the globe kicks off in spring/early summer. This year, it starts in November due to logistical and weather concerns.

Japan and Saudi Arabia Qualify to Play in the World Cup

Japan beat Australia and has now qualified alongside Saudi Arabia, to compete in the World Cup. Substitute Kaoru Mito scored the winning goal in the 90th minute following a defensive error by Australian defender Trent Sainsbury.

This leaves the Socceroos facing a tricky playoff to qualify for the Qatar World Cup. Australia was on course for their first World Cup qualification since 2006 until Japan equalized in the 78th minute through Yuya Osako and then went ahead after an own-goal from Sainsbury.

The Socceroos will now face Honduras in a two-legged playoff, with only one place at stake, after finishing third in their group behind Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Let's have a look at who has already qualified for the 2022 World Cup

By getting the rights to organize the tournament, Qatar also got automatic entry to the tournament for its national team. This is going to be the first World Cup for Qatar, who will take part in the competition against 31 other national teams. But which teams are those?

In addition to Qatar, there are 28 other teams that have booked a ticket to the tournament.

Twelve of those are from Europe, including the reigning World Cup champions, France. They had to go through the qualification process as FIFA no longer grants an automatic entry to the champions. The good news for the French is that they didn’t face any major problems in the qualifiers. In fact, they qualified for the tournament without losing a single game in qualification.

Four other teams qualified without losing a single game. England, Belgium, Switzerland, and Serbia stamped their Qatar tickets without dropping to a single defeat. The other five group winners lost one game each. Those teams were Germany, Croatia, Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain.

In addition to the twelve European teams, four South American teams have also booked their safe passage through to the World Cup. The teams in question are Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Uruguay. Finally, there are two more Asian teams that are going to the World Cup – Iran and South Korea.

2022 World Cup Qualification Playoffs

The vast majority of spots for the World Cup have now been assured, but some teams were faced with harder challenges than others to qualify. Many regions offer playoffs as a route through to the World Cup finals in Qatar, with huge nations such as Italy, Portugal and Egypt falling into this stage.

There are still a number of playoffs yet to play, but this latest international break has seen a number of huge nations book their spots in the World Cup, as playoff semi-finals and finals were played across the globe. But, which nations have already assured their spot in Qatar, and who still has to wait a little while longer?

CONCACAF Qualifiers

If you’re not familiar with the term, “CONCACAF” stands for the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football. This region will get three automatic spots, with the team finishing fourth playing in a playoff.

There was a massive moment in CONCACAF qualification, as Canada reached the World Cup for the first time since 1986. The Canadians topped the standings after the third round of games, as they finished ahead of both Mexico and the United States.

USA narrowly avoided the ultimate embarrassment of finishing fourth in the standings, as they qualified as the third-placed team on goal difference from Costa Rica. Mexico finished second in the standings, and will be looking to better their best showing at the famous tournament which saw them reach the quarterfinals in 1970 and 1986.

Costa Rica needed a big win to finish in the automatic places and qualify for the World Cup. However, they fell short in that mission on the final matchday, as they could only beat the USA 2-0. They will now face an inter-confederation playoff against New Zealand in June.

African Qualification Playoffs

The latest international break was a busy one in the CAF region, as the ten group winners from the second round played in their two-legged finals to determine the sides that would reach the World Cup proper. The biggest story from the playoff round saw Mohamed Salah’s Egypt eliminated from contention, as they were beaten for the second time in 2022 on penalties by Senegal.

Nigeria were also shock losers in the playoff round, as they were beaten by Ghana on the away goals rule. Cameroon also caused a minor shock, as they eliminated Riyad Mahrez and his Algerian team from World Cup qualification. The other sides that made it though were Morocco and Tunisia, who beat DR Congo, and Mali.

European Qualification Playoffs

Three European teams will qualify for the World Cup via playoffs. Just three teams remain in the contest right now. The European playoffs were thrown into disarray following the invasion of Ukraine, but it was decided that Russia would get thrown out.

In Path A, Scotland and Ukraine play in one semifinal, while the winners will come up against Wales, who beat Austria 2-1 in the recent international break. Poland will also be heading to the World Cup, as they beat Sweden 2-0 in their Path B final. However, the shock in European qualification came in Path C. European champions Italy were dumped out at the semi-final stage by North Macedonia. However, Portugal were able to avoid the same shock, as they won the Path C final 2-0.

International Playoffs

Two teams are going to get to the World Cup through the International Playoffs. One of those playoffs will see Costa Rica take on New Zealand. Meanwhile, the second playoff could see either Australia or the UAE take on Peru. Both playoff finals will be played in June, which will come a couple of months after the World Cup draw has been made for Qatar.

This year's world cup is guaranteed to be exciting, and with all eyes following the qualification process, we are waiting with bated breath to see the results.