Qatar 2022: Which Teams will Compete for the Last Places in the World Cup?

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Players of the national team of Costa Rica, Peru and Scotland

Photos: TW-fedefutbolcrc, TW-SeleccionPeru, TW-ScotlandNT

LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso

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Leer en español: Qatar 2022: ¿Qué selecciones disputarán los últimos cupos del mundial?

On April 1, the draw for the World Cup in Qatar was held. And although 29 of the 32 teams have already qualified, there are three places left for eight countries to choose from.

The die is already cast, the Qatar 2022 World Cup is on the horizon and the maximum soccer event that will take place between November 21 and December 18 of this year already has 29 of the 32 qualified teams. However, there are three national teams to be defined in the coming months and that will complete the number of countries that will play the tournament.

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Wales, Scotland, Ukraine, Peru, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica and New Zealand are the teams that still dream of certifying their presence in Qatar and June will be the decisive month for that. How will the three remaining quotas be defined? In the following article we will explain it to you.

Three nations one last place for UEFA

Twelve European teams have already confirmed their participation in the top World Cup event, among which the usual powerhouses such as France, England, Germany and Spain stand out, as well as noteworthy absences such as Italy, the current Eurocup champion. However, there is still a UEFA quota that has not been determined, mainly due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and which has forced certain games to be postponed.

Russia was disqualified, after the suspension endorsed by FIFA and UEFA. While Ukraine, unable to play a game for these months, will have to face a Scotland full of stars (McTominay, McGinn, Gilmour, Robertson, Tierney, etc.) in the semifinals of the European playoffs. And the winner of that key will face off against Gareth Bale's Wales, who beat Austria 2-1 in Cardiff last March and who will define in June (on a date, country and time to be defined) with one of the two teams mentioned above qualifying for Qatar.

It should be noted that whoever qualifies for Qatar will be placed in group B of the competition, where they will face England, the United States and Iran. In an area that, except for the initial favoritism of the English, is predicted to be very even in the dispute for second place.

Peru awaits Australians or Emiratis

Ricardo Gareca has done it again, first he made Peru return to a world cup after 36 years of absence, and now he has returned to stay with the fifth place in the South American qualifiers, so he will be able to play the intercontinental playoff again .

This time, the rival comes from the Asian confederation (AFC), and will come from Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Oceanic and Arab will fight next June 7 (single match and will be played in Qatar) to reach the decisive match against Peru, a duel that will be a week later and where Australia is slightly favorite to face the red and white team over the United Arab Emirates.

Whoever wins the play-off spot will automatically join Group D of the World Cup, which includes France, Denmark and Tunisia. As a peculiarity, in the last World Cup in Russia 2018 France, Denmark, Peru and Australia were part of the same zone and the result ended with France as leader of the group and with Denmark in second place.

Costa Rica and New Zealand promise a close match

Colombian Luis Fernando Suárez is going for his third qualification for a world championship, after qualifying Ecuador for Germany 2016 and Honduras for Brazil 2014. On this occasion with Costa Rica, a team that in the first 7 dates of the octagonal barely added 7 points, but that in the following 7 days achieved 19 units out of a possible 21, with impressive victories against Canada and the United States, among the highlights.

With that incredible streak and with new blood in the team, Costa Rica will try to defeat New Zealand in Qatar on June 13. The New Zealanders have just won all 5 games in their qualifying zone to reach this stage, and they have a very young squad that surprised the last Olympic Games in Tokyo by reaching the quarterfinals and bordering on the semifinals, after losing on penalties to Japan.

Precisely, the selection that wins the defining commitment will become part of group E, and probably with it the "group of death", made up of Spain, Germany and Japan . On the one hand, two of the teams that currently show the best soccer and that have high-level individuals, and on the other hand, a team like the Asian team that has a large part of its players in European soccer, and that in the last world cup was nothing to defeat Belgium in that remembered round of 16 match that ended with a 3-2 in favor of the Belgians.