2018 World Cup Qualifying: South Korea draw Kuwait, Lebanon (again?!)

We always and I mean always seem to draw Kuwait and Lebanon. And it has happened again in the 2018 World Cup AFC Round 2 Qualifying Draw. South Korea will play against Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar and Laos, with a berth in Round 3 on the line.


Group winners and 4 best runners-up qualify for Round 3 of WCQ and 2019 Asian Cup. 4 worst runners-up, 3rd place finishers and 4 best 4th place finishers qualify for 2019 Asian Cup Qualifying Group Stage. 4 worst 4th place finishers and 5th place finishers go to Asian Cup Qualifying Play-offs. Round 3 of WCQ will have 12 teams divided into 2 groups of 6. Top 2 teams in each group head to Russia – playoffs for the 3rd best teams in each of those groups.

Korea’s Group


Not a difficult group for South Korea, but that always going to be said seeing how we were in Pot 1. We faced Kuwait, as you’ll recall, in the Asian Cup earlier this year, and certainly weren’t at their best seeing how they were truly a squad in transition. Lebanon is another team we can feel confident about beating (6-0 victory in 2012 over them) but need to be wary about as they can cause a shock we don’t want to experience in Round 2.

I may know little about Kuwait and Lebanon especially, but I know nothing about our two other foes – Myanmar and Laos. A quick google search reveals that they shouldn’t be causing any shockwaves. Laos are 178th in the world and were whipped with a -10 GD in 3 games at the 2014 SUZUKI Cup, the tournament for South East Asian teams, which Thailand ended up winning, while Myanmar also finished bottom of their group in Suzuki Cup.

The reason why I say Kuwait and Lebanon again is that we have played the Lebanese 6 times in the last 9 years, and Kuwait, 5 times. That’s quite a bit. It’s a slightly odd coincidence.



Myanmar cannot play games at home due to crowd trouble. There are also two international breaks where only one game is played – we can schedule friendlies before the Myanmar game in June, and after the Kuwait game in October. Otherwise, the games will most likely be without the full call-ups.

Other Groups

Group A and H are ones to keep an eye on. Palestine have Asian Cup experience, Malaysia are not to be underestimated, and rivals Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the frontrunners. Group H sees the team no one wanted from Pot 4 – North Korea – joining the team no one wanted from Pot 5 – Yemen, and Uzbekistan and Bahrain. Do not be surprised if Bahrain ends up 4th in that group, it could cause shocks.

As far as Japan is concerned, they have a very straightforward draw, and Australia only really need to worry about Jordan. Look at for the 3 South East Asian nations duking it out in Group F, as well as a China-Hong Kong game in Group C.


About Tim Lee 321 Articles
The maple syrup guzzling kimchijjigae craving Korean-Canadian, eh?


  1. Tim, do you know how the groups will be split in 3rd round of WCQ? 2 groups of 6 teams…. new draw based on FIFA ranking or are group winners of rd2 designated to certain group (A or B)?

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