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Mixed Fortunes for Arab Teams in the Qatar World Cup Draw

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Four Arab teams have successfully qualified to the Qatar World Cup, Qatar being the host, KSA after topping their group in the Asian qualifiers, in addition to Tunisia and Morocco after defeating Mali and the Democratic republic of Congo respectively in the African Qualifiers.

The United Arab Emirates is still pending, and it might be the fifth Arab team in the competition. As they will play their AFC (Asian Football Confederation) playoff game against Australia on the 7th of June, which will determine the team that will play against Peru in the intercontinental playoff game on the 13th of June to win a ticket to the World Cup.

Qatar, the host, was drawn in Group A with Ecuador, African champions Senegal and the young renewed Netherlands. Being the host country Qatar was placed before the draw in the same pot as reigning champ France, Copa America winner Argentina and big teams like Brazil, Spain, Belgium, England and Portugal. Thus avoiding them in the group stage.

This makes Qatar the most fortunate among Arab teams in the draw, where they have a very good chance at finishing second in the group behind the Netherlands and qualifying to the next round.

On the other hand, KSA was drawn in group C with Argentina, Mexico and Poland. This gives Saudi Arabia the unluckiest draw among Arab teams where the Saudi defenses will have their hands full facing Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski, whereas Morocco and Tunisia might be the dark horses in their respective groups.

Morocco, drawn in the most competitive group of all – group F – with Belgium, and runners up Croatia and Canada who are making their first appearance in the World Cup since 1986. The Moroccan team will be competing with an up and coming team in Canada and an older, more experienced team in Croatia.

Tunisia fell in group D with the reigning champ France, a solid Danish team and the winner of the intercontinental playoffs between UAE/Australia vs Peru. They have enough talent to make them a dark horse to come out of this group and qualify to the next stage.

Noticably missing among Arab teams are, Egypt and Algeria, who’s fans were left heartbroken after last minute defeats. Egypt lost on penalties against Senegal in a highly physical game and questionable lasers shining on Egyptian players’ faces as they were taking their penalties. As for Algeria, a 120th minute goal for Cameroon destroyed thir chance to get their ticket to the 8th World Cup.

 

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