And the stage is set.
Peru defeated New Zealand to reach the World Cup for the first time in 36 years. Peru would secure the 32nd and final spot in the greatest international tournament of all. And, they would do it in commanding fashion against the All Blacks.
This was definitely a World Cup qualifying to remember. But that’s because it will be one to forget for some of the best soccer nations in the world.
For the first time since the 90s, the U.S will not feature. After finishing second and third in the previous two, the Netherlands failed to qualify. The two-time defending Copa America Champions—Chile—will also miss out. The biggest absence, however, is definitely Italy. The Italians will miss the World Cup for the first time since 1958—effectively ending the legendary goalkeeper Gigi Buffon’s international career on the lowest of notes.
On the other side, the biggest surprises from these qualifying rounds include Iceland, Panama Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Peru. Tunisia is qualifying for the first time since 2006, Morocco since 1998, Egypt since 1990, Peru since the 80s—plus Panama and Iceland for the very first time.
The pots are now officially set with most of the favorites obviously located in Pot 1. But as we know, nothing is certain in the World Cup. One has to think that a “Group of Death” will be something like Germany, Spain, Iceland and Nigeria. Or Brazil, England, Costa Rica, and Serbia.
Here are the pots.
👀 Here's how the pots shake out for the draw on December 1st. pic.twitter.com/XjFVN52qYP
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 16, 2017
The World Cup group draw is set for Dec. 1st, 10 ET.
Let us know who you have winning it all. And, which teams can make the best “Group of Death”.