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2018 World Cup qualifying - how it works

The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on March 12, 2015 with preliminary ties between the 12 lowest-ranked nations in Asia.

Chiquito Do Carmo of Timor-Leste had the honour of scoring the very first goal on the road to Russia in a 4-1 victory at home to Mongolia.

There are 31 places up for grabs, joining hosts Russia.

  

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

Qualifying for 2018 sees seven groups of six nations and two groups of five. 

Russia...

 By Tom Marshall

Giovani dos Santos recalled for Mexico's friendlies, Chicharito left out

LA went 1-0 up early, but Seattle stormed back, with Jordan Morris nabbing a brace, and claiming the comeback win.
Gio dos Santos with Mexico
Giovani dos Santos last played for Mexico in 2015.

LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos will return to the Mexico national team for upcoming friendlies against New Zealand on Oct. 8 and Panama on Oct. 11.

The inclusion of Dos Santos in coach Juan Carlos Osorio's squad is the 27-year-old's first call-up to El Tri since the 2015 Gold Cup, which Mexico won, and comes off the back of some good form from the former Barcelona player, who has 14 goals in 26 games in MLS this season.

Mexico coach Osorio had maintained that the door remained open to Dos...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FC Dallas' Carlos Ruiz aims to run for Guatemala federation presidency

Khiry Shelton's 78th-minute goal earned NYCFC a point against Supporters' Shield contenders FC Dallas.
Carlos Ruiz returns to FC Dallas. Watch some of his best goals in MLS.

FC Dallas veteran Carlos "Pescadito" Ruiz has said he will run for president of the Guatemala football federation and fight for transparency within the sport in his home country.

Last week, a FIFA source told Reuters it will suspend the Guatemalan federation (Fedefut) due to a dispute over the committee overseeing the organisation.

"At this moment FIFA and CONCACAF are talking and shortly the decision will be reached which will be the suspension of Fedefut because of third party interference," Primo...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

United States to host Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, to open Hex

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer breaks down all the latest news of American footballers abroad, with Christian Pulisic headlining.

The United States will host Mexico in November's World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio.

The Nov. 11 game at Columbus Crew SC's MAPFRE Stadium will open the fifth and final round of CONCACAF qualifying, known as the "Hex."

Columbus has been the site for every U.S. home game against Mexico in the Hex since 2001. The U.S. won the four games in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 -- all by a score of 2-0.

The results have extended American fans' popular chant of "dos a cero," which began after the U.S.'s 2-0 win...