The Asian qualifying section has been whittled down to two groups of four.

The top two in each group qualify automatically with the third place teams in each group facing each other in a playoff. The winners of this playoff will then go on to take part in another playoff against the fourth placed team in the North, Central and Caribbean qualifying section with the victors qualifying for the finals. Simple.

Whilst this may be complicated on paper, in practice, the actual qualifying was not. All four teams have already qualified comfortably with over a year to go before the finals. From Group A Saudi Arabia and the promising South Koreans go through with Man United target Park Ji-Sung sealing qualification for the Koreans with a goal against Kuwait.

Brazilian legend Zico has taken his Japan side to its third successive finals, finishing second to Iran in Group B which at the beginning of qualification looked dangerous but turned out to be a walkover with Korea DPR and Bahrain mustering a measly four points between them.

With one game remaining it’s between Kuwait and Uzbekistan in Group A for the last spot in the Asian playoff against Group B’s third placed team, Bahrain.