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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

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.

Qualified nations: Brazil, Iran

EUROPE:

13 places

• European qualifying home page

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

Germany's Timo Werner can 'block out' fans' anger after dive in December

Joachim Low addresses Germany's evolution since the last World Cup, and the infusion of their young players into the squad.
Tim Cahill dismisses the idea Germany are underdogs at the Confederations Cup, but believes Australia can pull an upset.
Ange Postecoglou says he's not interested in Germany's age because Australia will probably be the younger side.

RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner has told kicker he has become used to getting whistled and booed by supporters in Germany.

Werner, 21, has been targeted by supporters in Germany ever since he dived to win a penalty in the Bundesliga match against Schalke in December, an act he later apologised for.

He was singled out by Germany fans last week after coming off the bench in the Nationalmannschaft's win over San Marino.

Germany head coach Joachim Low has criticised supporters for their jeering of Werner,...

Hungary boss Bernd Storck offering fans free tickets after Andorra loss

Bernd Storck Hungary woe 170609
Bernd Storck and his players react after Hungary's historic loss to Andorra in a World Cup qualifier.

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- The coach of Hungary is offering free tickets to a pair of World Cup qualifiers to fans who attended the team's 1-0 loss in Andorra last week.

Bernd Storck said on state television on Friday that his proposition was meant to win back support of angry fans after one of Hungary's all-time worst defeats.

After the match, Hungarian fans chanted for players to remove their jerseys because of the embarrassing performance, and they complied.

Andorra's win was their first in a World...

Gianni De Biasi resigns as Albania manager with immediate effect

Gianni De Biasi had been in charge of Albania for the past six years.

TIRANA, Albania -- Gianni De Biasi resigned Wednesday as Albania coach with immediate effect.

The Italian, who steered Albania to their first major tournament at last year's European Championship, had said Tuesday he would not renew his contract when it expires in October.

At a news conference on Wednesday, an emotional De Biasi announced he would leave immediately and read out a letter in which he said he "thought long and hard" about his decision but is leaving for "the good and growth of our...