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Soccer, 2018 World Cup preliminaries: Draw sends Romania to Group E, alongside Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia and Kazakhstan

The Saturday draw sent Romania to Group E of Europe’s qualifying competition for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, alongside Denmark, Poland, Montenegro, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

Montenegro, Armenia and Kazakhstan have never been in a final tournament of the World Cup. Moreover, group seed Romania was spared some strong second seeds, such as France or Italy.

The draw in St Petersburg produced the following results:

 

Group A

Netherlands

France

Sweden

Bulgaria

Belarus

Luxembourg

 

Group B

Portugal

Switzerland

Hungary

Faroe Islands

Latvia

Andorra

 

Group C

Germany

Czech Republic

Northern Ireland

Norway

Azerbaijan

San Marino

 

Group D

Wales

Austria

Serbia

Ireland

Moldova

Georgia

 

Group E

Romania

Denmark

Poland

Montenegro

Armenia

Kazakhstan

 

Group F

England

Slovakia

Scotland

Slovenia

Lithuania

Malta

 

Group G

Spain

Italy

Albania

Israel

FYR Macedonia

Liechtenstein

 

Group H

Belgium

Bosnia

Greece

Estonia

Cyprus

 

Group I

Croatia

Iceland

Ukraine

Turkey

Finland

 

The group winners advance directly to the World Cup finals; four out of eight runners-up will qualify after playoffs. Hosts Russia qualify automatically, so 14 European teams will be in the 2018 competition.

The preliminaries are scheduled as follows: first, second and fourth rounds in 2016, on September 4-6, October 6-8, October 9-11 and November 11-13 respectively; fifth through tenth round in 2017, on March 24-26, June 9-11, August 31-September 2, September 3-5, October 5-7 and October 8-10. Playoffs will be held in 2017 – the first leg on November 9-11, and the second in November 12-14, Agerpres informs.

The final in Russia will play from June 14 through July 15 2018.

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