First Round of World Cup Russia Ticket Sales About to Close

Arsenal¿s Iwobi who sealed qualification on Sunday night with the only goal against Zambia

France will book their ticket with three points against Belarus, while the Netherlands, finalists in 2010 and semi-finalists four years ago, see their hopes hanging by a thread as they bid to avoid failing to qualify for successive major tournaments for the first time since 1986, having also missed out on Euro 2016.

The friendly against South Korea was Russia's first worldwide test since they exited the Confederations Cup at the group stage in June, which added to a long list of recent failures.

When is the World Cup play-off draw on?

Of the 32 that will qualify, the 19 teams set to play thus far are Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Brazil.

Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia all wrapped up automatic places from the South America qualifiers last night, whilst Panama qualified from the North, Central America and Caribbean section.

In Africa, there are still three places up for grabs as the third and final round of qualifying enters the last two group games.

Saudi buys Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems
President Vladimir Putin , who first invited the king to Moscow more than two years ago, hailed the visit as a "landmark event". The Saudis in addition have also agreed to buy the US Thaad missile Defence systems at a cost of $15 billion.

In Europe, the eight best runners-up from the qualifying stages, including Ireland, will go into next Monday's play-off draw.

That leaves two final group stage berths for the 2018 finals still down for decision and they'll be decided by two two-legged play-off games involving countries from Asia (Australia), CONCACAF (Honduras), Oceania (New Zealand) and South America (Peru).

Eight second-placed teams will then fight for four remaining places in Russian Federation via the play-offs next month.

The draw will take place next week.

Slovakia were the only group runner-up in Europe not to get a playoff place after being ranked ninth of nine from all the second place finishers.

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