Asian Cup champions Australia will begin their quest to reach a fourth-successive World Cup finals against Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh.
Ange Postecoglou’s side have been drawn in Group B for the second stage of AFC qualifying, as the long road to Russia 2018 begins.
Having lifted their first Asian Cup earlier this year, confidence will be high within Australia’s squad when the group fixtures begin in June.
South Korea – Asia’s most successful nation at the World Cup – will face Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar and Laos in Group G, while Japan begin their journey for a sixth appearance at the global event in Group E, alongside Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore and Cambodia.
Elsewhere, 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar will look to qualify for their first finals from Group C alongside China, Maldives, Hong Kong and Bhutan – who are celebrating their first appearance at this stage of the competition.
The top side in each of the eight groups, plus the four best runners-up, will advance to the final round of qualifying, while also securing spots at the 2019 Asian Cup finals.
Groups in full:
Group A: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor-Leste, Malaysia
Group B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh
Group C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong
Group D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam
Group E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia
Group F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei
Group G: South Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos
Group H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Philippines, North Korea, Yemen
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