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10 facts on the seven World Cup qualified teams

World Cup 2018: 10 facts on the seven countries qualified so far

September 6, 2017 By Ali M.
Excluding the hosts, only seven teams have booked their tickets to Russia via the qualifying round. Here are 10 interesting stats about them.

The recent international break has come to an end, meaning the World Cup qualifiers halt once more. However, with only a few games remaining, things are already shaping up.

While some nations are struggling to qualify – yes, we are looking at you, Argentina and Chile – others have already booked their tickets to Russia. Excluding the hosts, they are Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Korea Republic, and Saudi Arabia.

Here are 10 interesting stats about the seven teams that booked their spot in the 2018 World Cup via the qualifying round – excluding the hosts.

1. Only Brazil have enjoyed success from the qualified teams

Seven nations have booked their spot in the tournament in Russia, but only one have won the trophy before: Brazil. Furthermore, Korea Republic are the only other team besides the Selecao to even reach the semi-final.

2. There are no new-comers

Every one of the seven qualified nations have made it to the World Cup before.  Three of them were previous hosts – Mexico, South Korea and Japan.

3. Only three teams are undefeated

Although none have qualified with a perfect round, three teams are yet to lose a single game in the qualifying round. They are Iran, Mexico, and Belgium.

4. The Red Devils’ excellent goalscoring form

Lukaku and Co. have the best goal average in the entire qualifying stage with an average of 4.4 goals per match. Despite scoring 35 times in eight games, they don’t have the most number of goals – that honor goes to Australia with their 45 goals.

5. Iran’s impeccable defense

‎Carlos Queiroz’s men entered the final game of the qualifying stage on a 12-game clean sheet run. Prior to the 2-2 draw with Syria, Iran had last let in a goal in November 2015.

6. Saudi Arabia make their return

The Green Falcons beat Japan to win an automatic qualification in the final round. This means the Kingdom has put an end to their 11-year absence from the World Cup.

7. The best winning percentage

Belgium unsurprisingly have the best win percentage at 87.5% thanks to their seven wins in eight qualifiers. Brazil are second at 68.75% with 11 elevens from 16 qualifiers.

8. Iran boast the worst World Cup record

Iran qualifying for the 2018 World Cup means they get a second chance to improve their record. They have never made it past the group stage, the only nation from the seven qualified teams to have failed to do so.

9. Saud Arabia haven’t suffered the worst defeat from the already qualified teams

When talking about worst World Cup defeats, Saudi Arabia’s 8-0 loss to Germany comes straight to mind. However, of the seven qualified nations, Korea Republic has suffered the worst loss – 9-0 to Hungary in 1954. The overall record goes to El Salvador – they lost 10-1 to ’82.

10. The seven teams’ FIFA rankings

Of the seven teams, only two – Brazil (1st) and Belgium (9th) – are in the top 10. Mexico are 14th, Iran are 24th, Japan and Australia are 44th and 45th respectively, Korea Republic are 49th, and Saudi Arabia are 59th. 

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