Kuala Lumpur, July 1, 2021
China are to compete with Asian leaders Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, as well as Oman, Vietnam in their quest for a second appearance at the World Cup.
This followed the draw of the third round Asian Qualifiers of Qatar World Cup 2022 made in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The 12 teams were drawn into two groups.
Japan, the continent’s top team in the FIFA World Ranking who are seeking a seventh consecutive appearance at the FIFA World Cup Finals, were joined by Australia and Saudi Arabia.
Both have made the Finals five times previously.
China made their only World Cup appearance in 2002 while Oman and Vietnam have never qualified for the global showpiece.
Speaking via video link after the draw, Chinese head coach Li Tie said the draw was “very good” and that his team would try their best in every match.
In Group B, five-time World Cup participants Iran will have South Korea, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iraq, Syria and Lebanon for company.
The respective group winners and runners-up will seal their places for the global showpiece.
The third-placed teams will advance to the Asian playoff to determine the side which will advance to the inter-continental playoff.
The Asian Qualifiers’ third round is scheduled to be played on 10 match days.
These are Sept. 2 and Sept. 7, Oct. 7 and Oct. 12, and Nov. 11 and Nov. 16, 2021, as well as Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, 2022.
The qualifiers will reach its climax on March 24 and March 29, 2022.