23 June 2008

Ten Remain

Here are the ten AFC teams advancing to the final round of qualification for the World Cup, with current FIFA and Elo rankings in parentheses:

Australia (35 FIFA; 40 Elo)
Japan (38; 23)
Korea Republic (45; 43)
Iran (48; 29)
Saudi Arabia (54; 44)
Uzbekistan (58; 47)
Bahrain (72; 74)
Qatar (83; 76)
United Arab Emirates (95; 92)
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (118; 69)

From this, the task of qualifying looks simpler for Australia (on paper) if we draw at least two of Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and North Korea in our group of five while avoiding Japan.

During Round Three of qualifying, Bahrain defeated Japan and North Korea did not concede a single goal, so it seems to me that the most fortunate draw we could hope would include Qatar and the UAE in our group. That might mean difficult weather conditions for the away games, but it might be easier to deal with a bit of heat rather than one team that almost qualified for the last World Cup (Bahrain) and another that involves visiting one of the most reclusive nations on the planet (North Korea).

1 comment:

Freddy said...

It's funny to see this now, now that the draw has just been done.