Portugal and France have been left unseeded for Friday’s World Cup draw in Cape Town, while the Qantas Socceroos have been placed in pot two alongside the other three Asian qualifiers as well as New Zealand, the USA, Mexico and Honduras.
France and Portugal have suffered for the fact they needed to go through the playoffs to qualify and find themselves in pot four with the other six unseeded UEFA teams.It means that unless they draw South Africa in their group, they will have to face one of the seven seeded teams in the group stage.
Those teams include Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Germany and Argentina.
The wash-up for Australia is that it could possibly draw both a seeded team and one of France, who were beaten finalists four years ago, or Portugal, a semi-finalist in Germany 2006.
It also means that Australia could also draw an African team, which are expected to perform well in what will be the first World Cup held on African soil.
Pot three contains the five African qualifiers, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Cameroon as well as the three unseeded qualifers from CONMEBOL, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Australia’s best case scenario would be to draw host South Africa, a European minnow like Slovenia, Slovakia or Greece, and perhaps Algeria or one of Chile, Uruguay or Paraguay.
A worst case scenario could see it in a group containing Brazil, Italy or Germany, then France or Portugal, followed by one of the stronger African nations.
Pot One: Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Germany, Argentina, South AfricaPot Two: Australia, South Korea, North Korea, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Honduras.Pot Three: Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Cameroon, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay.Pot Four: Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland
Al-Jazira continued their perfect start in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday, while Adelaide United suffered their first loss.
United Arab Emirates Pro-League champions Al-Jazira made it three wins from as many games in Group A with a 2-1 victory at Iran’s Esteghlal.
Abdulrahim Jumaa gave the visitors a sixth-minute lead in Tehran, but his opener was cancelled out by Ferydoon Zandi in the second half.
But Al-Jazira were not to be denied, and Brazilian Bare scored what proved to be the winner in the 73rd minute.
In the other Group A game, Al-Rayyan moved off the bottom of the table courtesy of a 3-1 win at home to Nasaf.
The Qatari side recorded the win thanks to goals from Rodrigo Tabata, Daniel Goumou and Ahmed Alaadin, while Ilhom Shomurodov had briefly levelled for the visitors.
Elsewhere, Adelaide slumped to their first defeat in Group E after a 1-0 loss to Pohang Steelers in South Korea.
A scrappy 69th-minute goal from Kim Dae-Ho saw the K-League side to a deserved win in an encounter they dominated.
J.League giants Gamba Osaka remain bottom of the group despite their 3-1 win at home to Bunyodkor.
A Yasuhito Endo goal and a brace of penalties from Rafinha helped Gamba to the victory, with Anvarjon Soliev striking a late consolation for the Uzbeks.
Adam Kwasnik and Everton Santos traded goals as the Central Coast Mariners and Seongnam played out a 1-1 draw in Gosford in their Group G clash.
Nagoya Grampus became the first side in the group to claim a win, recording an emphatic 3-0 victory over Tianjin Teda.
Jungo Fujimoto, Keiji Tamada and Kensuke Nagai were on the scoresheet for the victors.
In Group C, Sepahan remain unbeaten after Bruno Correa’s 89th-minute goal gave them a 2-1 win against Lekhwiya, while Al-Ahli edged Al-Nasr 2-1.