Qualifying Groups and Teams for the 2014 World Cup

On this page you’ll find all the teams that qualified for the 2014 World Cup, divided in the various regions/groups.

Africa

The 52 member associations in Africa contested five places at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The qualifiers are Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.

Ghana were the most impressive qualifiers from this region, scoring 18 goals in their six group matches and collecting 15 out of a maximum 18 points. Their only defeat came in a shock 1-0 defeat in Zambia. Egypt proved no match for them in the play-offs, Ghana winning 7-3 on aggregate.

Algeria had the woodwork after qualifying on away goals after a 3-3 draw with Burkina Faso. An attempted clearance in injury-time struck the crossbar. Asamoah Gyan of Ghana scored six times in qualification. Cameroon will be at the finals for the seventh time in their history, a record for an African side. They will be captained by Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o, who already has a record 112 caps and 55 goals for his country.

Asia

43 teams from Asia were allocated four places with one team qualifying for an Intercontinental play-off. Australia, Iran, Japan and South Korea made it safely through.

Japan were the most impressive of the qualifiers from Asia with Shinji Okazaki scored eight times. That is exactly the total number of goals scored by Iran in their qualifying group but they still managed to finish top, conceding only two goals in the process. They will go to the finals for the first time in their history. Australia struggled to qualify and manager Holger Osieck was eventually sacked and replaced by Ange Postecoglou. 

Europe

13 places were up for grabs for the 53 European members. The full list of qualifiers; Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Switzerland.

Seven European teams were undefeated through qualifying; England, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Germany and the Netherlands were by far the most impressive, each dropping only one point in ten matches. France managed to turn around a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to beat Ukraine 3-2 on aggregate and scrape through to the finals.

Portugal needed a hat-trick from Ronaldo to progress, defeating Sweden by the same 3-2 aggregate scoreline. They were forced into the play-offs by Russia, now coached by former England boss Fabio Capello. Had Portugal missed out, they would have been possibly the most notable absentee having reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012 before losing on penalties to Spain.

Croatia defeated Iceland and Greece overcame Romania to advance to the finals in Brazil. The top scorer in Europe was Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie with eleven goals. Greece had the most resilient defence, keeping an incredible eight clean sheets in ten matches. Among the most significant sides that failed to qualify were Czech Republic, Norway, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Sweden and Wales.

North & Central America and Caribbean

North & Central America and Caribbean region were guaranteed 3 places from 35 teams with a fourth team entering into an Intercontinental play-off. Mexico beat Oceania’s New Zealand in that contest to join Costa Rica, Honduras and USA in Brazil.

The United States topped their qualifying group under Jurgen Klinsmann but suffered defeats at the hands of Jamaica, Costa Rica and Honduras. Mexico looked doomed to miss out after losing their final group game against Costa Rica but two injury-time goals from the USA cruelly denied Panama a place in Brazil. The Mexicans had only won two of their ten qualifying matches but comfortably overcame New Zealand to finally seal their place.

South America

Brazil automatically qualified as hosts for the 2014 World Cup with the remaining nine members battling it out for four places. Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador qualified with Uruguay booking their place via a play-offs victory over Jordan.

2010 semi-finalists Uruguay would have been unlucky to miss out having finished level on points with Ecuador but forced into the play-offs by virtue of an inferior goal difference. Argentina, Colombia and Chile all finished with nine wins from their 16 matches.

The strike force of Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain combined to score 19 goals for the Argentinians whilst Luis Suarez netted eleven times for Uruguay. Messi has scored 37 goals for his country in 83 appearances and he will be expected to be one of the stars of the tournament. Colombia could be one of the most under-rated sides in the competition and are currently ranked 4th in the world. Paraguay and Peru were among those teams missing out.

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