Road to Brazil for Asian teams begin

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Football News

FIFA have selected the first and second round opponents for the qualifying stages for the 2014 World Cup, with some interesting ties between the selected clubs.

16 teams were chosen in the first round to play for qualification into the second round, which included Malaysia. The 8 winners will then move forward to play with 22 other sides in the second round, which Thailand, Indonesia and India have qualified for.

Meanwhile, Thailand, Indonesia and India have automatically progressed to the second round, with Thailand waiting on their opponent to be decided.

Malaysia play Chinese Taipei, and if they make it through to the next stage they could potentially be facing big rivals Singapore.

Meanwhile, Thailand face either Afghanistan or Palestine. Thailand will be hoping to progress through to the third round, and have an extra incentive, with their head coach Bryan Robson being diagnosed with throat cancer.

Thailand will no doubt be calling up Surat Sukha from Australian League side Melbourne Victory for the match, with Sukha starring in the A-League.

Indonesia face Turkmenistan, and will be looking to qualify for their first World Cup since 1938.

India will have a tough challenge after their automatic qualification for round 2, and face United Arab Emirates, a regular contender in the Asian Cup.

Other matches of interest include Iran who face Maldives – the last time these two sides met, Iran won 26-0 over two legs, and whether the same will happen this time remains to be seen.


Qatar and Vietnam will be an interesting match up, with Qatar hoping to qualify for the World Cup after winning the rights to host the event in 2022. And central Asian rivals Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will play each other in the second round in what will no doubt be a fiery encounter.

For Round 1, the first match takes place on June 29 and the second on July 3. IN Round 2, the first match will occur on July 23 and July 28.

Match ups:

Round 1

Malaysia v Chinese Taipei

Bangladesh v Pakistan

Cambodia v Laos

Sri Lanka v Philippines

Afghanistan v Palestine

Vietnam v Macau

Nepal v Timor Leste

Mongolia v Myanmar

Round 2

Thailand v Afghanistan or Palestine

Lebanon v Bangladesh or Pakistan

China v Cambodia or Laos

Turkmenistan v Indonesia

Kuwait v Sri Lanka or Philippines

Oman v Mongolia or Myanmar

Saudi Arabia v Hong Kong

Iran v Maldives

Syria v Tajikistan

Qatar v Vietnam or Macau

Iraq v Yemen

Singapore v Malaysia or Chinese Taipei

Uzbekistan v Kyrgyzstan

UAE v India

Jordan v Nepal or Timor Leste

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Bryan Robson

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