world cup 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup was the twenty first FIFA World Cup and was held in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. It was the second FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Brazil. The tournament was won by France, claiming their second title, beating Croatia 4-2 in the final at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.

Host selection

Five bids were received by FIFA host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Mexico withdrew and Indonesia's bid was rejected by FIFA leaving England, Russia and the joint bids of Netherlands/Belgium and Portugal/Spain.

At the FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Z├╝rich on 2 December 2010, England's bid was eliminated in the first round of voting after receiving just two votes. In the second round, Russia's bid received the required number of votes winning 13 to Portugal/Spain's seven votes and Netherlands/Belgium's two votes.

For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, all of FIFA's 2091 eligible nations applied to enter the qualifying process.

Hosts, Russia, qualified automatically whilst the remaining 31 places, were allocated with 13 to Europe (UEFA), four to South America (CONMEBOL), three to the North and Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF), four to Africa (CAF) and four to Asia (AFC) whilst one qualifier from the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) would face one team from the CONMEBOL qualifiers in an intercontinental play off and one qualifier from CONCACAF would face a qualifier from AFC for the final two places.

Qualifying

Russia qualified as hosts and the remaining 52 teams entered the European qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The teams were divided into nine groups; seven groups of six teams and two group of five teams. The group winners would qualify whilst the eight best runners-up would advance to the UEFA play-offs.

Following the draw, and ahead of the qualifying tournament, Gibraltar and Kosovo were admitted as FIFA members and were placed into the two five team groups meaning all nine groups would have six teams.

Wales were placed in Pot 1 as top seeds, and were drawn in Group 4 alongside Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova and Georgia.

Uefa qualifying Group D


no.datescorescorers (wales)venue 
 05/09/2016Georgia 1-2 Austria Boris Paichadze Stadium, TbilisiWCQ
 05/09/2016Serbia 2-2 Republic of Ireland Stadion Rajko Mitić, BelgradeWCQ
63105/09/2016Wales 4-0 MoldovaVokes, Allen, Bale (2)Cardiff City Stadium, CardiffWCQ
63206/10/2016Austria 2-2 WalesAllen, o.g.Ernst-Happel-Stadion, ViennaWCQ
 06/10/2016Moldova 0-3 Serbia Zimbru Stadium, ChişinăuWCQ
 06/10/2016Republic of Ireland 0-1 Georgia Aviva Stadium, DublinWCQ
63309/10/2016Wales 1-1 GeorgiaBaleCardiff City Stadium, CardiffWCQ
 09/10/2016Moldova 1-3 Republic of Ireland Zimbru Stadium, ChişinăuWCQ
 09/10/2016Serbia 3-2 Austria Stadion Rajko Mitić, BelgradeWCQ
 12/11/2016Austria 0-1 Republic of Ireland Ernst-Happel-Stadion, ViennaWCQ
 12/11/2016Georgia 1-1 Moldova Boris Paichadze Stadium, TbilisiWCQ
63412/11/2016Wales 1-1 SerbiaBaleCardiff City Stadium, CardiffWCQ
 24/03/2017Georgia 1-3 Serbia Boris Paichadze Stadium, TbilisiWCQ
 24/03/2017Austria 2-0 Moldova Ernst-Happel-Stadion, ViennaWCQ
63524/03/2017Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales Aviva Stadium, DublinWCQ
 11/06/2017Moldova 2-2 Georgia Zimbru Stadium, ChişinăuWCQ
 11/06/2017Republic of Ireland 1-1 Austria Aviva Stadium, DublinWCQ
63611/06/2017Serbia 1-1 WalesRamsey (pen)Stadion Rajko Mitić, BelgradeWCQ
 02/09/2017Georgia 1-1 Republic of Ireland Boris Paichadze Stadium, TbilisiWCQ
 02/09/2017Serbia 3-0 Moldova Stadion Rajko Mitić, BelgradeWCQ
63702/09/2017Wales 1-0 AustriaWoodburnCardiff City Stadium, CardiffWCQ
 05/09/2017Austria 1-1 Georgia Ernst-Happel-Stadion, ViennaWCQ
63805/09/2017Moldova 0-2 WalesRobson-Kanu, RamseyZimbru Stadium, ChişinăuWCQ
 05/09/2017Republic of Ireland 0-1 Serbia Aviva Stadium, DublinWCQ
 06/10/2017Austria 3-2 Serbia Ernst-Happel-Stadion, ViennaWCQ
 06/10/2017Republic of Ireland 2-0 Moldova Aviva Stadium, DublinWCQ
63906/10/2017Georgia 0-1 WalesLawrenceBoris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, TbilisiWCQ
 09/10/2017Moldova 0-1 Austria Zimbru Stadium, ChişinăuWCQ
 09/10/2017Serbia 1-0 Georgia Stadion Rajko Mitić, BelgradeWCQ
64009/10/2017Wales 0-1 Republic of Ireland Cardiff City Stadium, CardiffWCQ


Head to head
 AUTGEOIRLMDASRBWAL
AUT 1-10-12-03-22-2
GEO1-2 1-11-11-30-1
IRL1-11-0 2-00-10-0
MDA0-12-21-3 0-30-2
SRB3-21-02-23-0 1-1
WAL1-01-10-14-01-1 


Group standings
  PWDLFAPts
1.Serbia10631201021
2.Republic of Ireland1054112619
3.Wales1045113617
4.Austria10433141215
5.Georgia100558145
6.Moldova100284232


Wales and the 2018 World Cup

Following success in qualifying for Euro 2016, Wales were placed in Pot 1 as top seeds for the very first time and were drawn in Group 4 alongside Austria, Serbia, Republic of Ireland, Moldova and Georgia.

Wales, playing their first match since the Euro 2016 semi-final defeat, thumped Moldova in front of a capacity crowd at the Cardiff City Stadium, in the opening game of the campaign.

Despite taking the lead twice in the next match in Vienna, Chris Coleman's men had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Austria; the first of five successive drawn games for Wales which included a 1-1 at home to the group's bottom seeds, Georgia.

A debut goal for Ben Woodburn saw Wales beat Austria at the Cardiff City Stadium before a win away in Moldova meant two wins in the final round of matches would secure at least a play-off place for Wales.

Having beaten Georgia in Tbilisi, it boiled down to a winner takes all match in Cardiff against the Republic of Ireland.

James McClean scored the only goal of the game for the Republic of Ireland, ending Wales' hopes of qualification. McClean's goal was the first time Wales had been bnehind during the whole qualifying campaign.



Players used during qualifying

Wales used a total of 22 players during the qualifying campaign with James Chester, Chris Gunter and Wayne Hennessey playing every minute of every game whilst Ashley Williams played all but eight minutes of the campaign.

The campaign saw a first cap for Ben Woodburn during the home game against Austria as well as 50th caps for Sam Vokes at home to Serbia and Aaron Ramsey in Georgia.

Neil Taylor became the 17th player to be sent off whilst playing for Wales following his red card in Dublin.

PlayerMOLAUTGEOSRBIRLSRBAUTMOLGEOIRL
Joe Allen6756 909090 909037
Gareth Bale9090909090 9090  
James Chester90909090909090909090
James Collins8         
David Cotterill  20       
Ben Davies909090 909090909090
Chris Gunter90909090909090909090
Emyr Huws231   18    
David Edwards 36907 729029 
Wayne Hennessey90909090909090909090
Emyr Huws23123       
Andy King909075   45679065
Tom Lawrence   23 572618990
Joe Ledley909067837290  8190
Neil Taylor9089709069 red     
Aaron Ramsey   90909090909090
Ashley Richards    189045   
Hal Robson-Kanu1513156745 21881671
Sam Vokes75779090458569237419
Ashley Williams82909090909090909090
Jonathan Williams         53
Ben Woodburn      1829125

Notes

1Of the 209 countries who entered, Indonesia and Zimbabwe were disqualified before the matches started, however, Gibraltar and Kosovo were not members of FIFA when thre draw was made but were permitted to enter the competition.