- Total # of Teams = 46
- # of Teams that Qualify = 4.5
- # of Rounds = 4 and a playoff (for the 0.5 slot)
The 12 lowest ranked teams (according to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking) are paired together in a home-and-away series. The 6 winners of those matchups via aggregate score are paired with the remaining 34 teams in Round 2.
The 6 teams from Round 1 join the remaining 34 teams as all 40 teams are placed into 8 groups of 5. The teams play one another round-robin, home-and-away where points are calculated for wins (3), ties (1) and losses (0). The 8 group winners and the 4 2nd place teams with the most points qualify for Round 3 of qualifying in Asia.
The remaining 12 teams are then drawn into 2 groups of 6. The teams play one another round-robin, home-and-away where points are calculated for wins (3), ties (1) and losses (0). The group winners and 2nd place teams qualify for Russia 2018! The 3rd place teams from both groups proceed to Round 4.
The 2 teams that finished in 3rd place from Round 3 now play a home-and-away series. The winner is decided by aggregate score from the 2 games and then proceeds to the “Playoff” Round.
For Asia, this Playoff Round is a home-and-away, aggregate score matchup with the participant from CONCACAF. The winner of this Playoff Round qualifies for Russia 2018!
Click Here for live snapshot of current qualifying campaign.