The Asian qualifiers got under way and were followed by warm-up matches for the coming World Cup. Australia began life in Asia with a 3-1 win in Bahrain. Iraq were defeated 2-0 in Singapore, but bounced back to beat China 2-1 on neutral territory, while Singapore lost 1-0 to Palestine in the second round of matches. Yemen celebrated a 3-0 victory in India.
Germany may be ready for the World Cup as the host nation, but they are not ready as a team if their 4-1 defeat in Italy is anything to go by. France will also lack confidence after losing 2-1 at home to Slovakia. Sweden continued to move down in Mark’s rankings having lost 3-0 to the Republic of Ireland. The USA who beat Poland 1-0 in Germany are the highest climbers of the year so far among the top teams. The latest rankings can be seen at: