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Saudi Arabia Pitted Against Japan And Australia In World Cup Qualifiers

The draw for the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup has placed the Saudi national team in Group C, which has been labeled the “Group of Death”, it was revealed at the draw held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Group C includes Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, Bahrain, China, and Indonesia. Group A consists of Iran, Qatar, Uzbekistan, the UAE, Kyrgyzstan, and North Korea, while Group B comprises South Korea, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Palestine, and Kuwait.

According to the current qualification system, the top two teams from each group will directly qualify for the World Cup.

The teams finishing third and fourth in each group will advance to a fourth-round playoff, where the six teams will be divided into two groups of three.

Each group will play in a single round-robin format, with the group winners qualifying directly for the World Cup. The runners-up will compete in a decisive match for a spot in the intercontinental playoff.

The Saudi national team will begin their journey by facing Indonesia at home on September 5. They will then travel to China for a match on September 10. In October, Saudi Arabia will host Japan on the 10th and Bahrain on the 15th. In November, they will play away against Australia on the 14th and Indonesia on the 19th. In March next year, Saudi Arabia will host China on the 20th and then play away against Japan on the 25th.

In June 2025, Saudi Arabia will conclude their qualification campaign by facing Bahrain on June 5 and then hosting Australia on June 10.


Saudi Gazette

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