2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Second Round
The UEFA Second Round was contested by the best eight runners-up from the nine first round groups from the UEFA segment of the qualification tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup final tournament. The winners — Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland — of each of four home and away ties joined the group winners in the World Cup in Russia. These pairs of matches, also commonly known as the playoffs, were held in November 2017. The losers were Greece, Italy, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
The eight best runners-up from the UEFA First Round qualified for the play-offs; at the time of the draw, with two groups having one team fewer than the others, matches against the sixth-placed team in each First Round group were not included in this ranking. UEFA confirmed that, even after the admission of Gibraltar and Kosovo and with all groups now containing six teams, this regulation did not change and matches against the sixth-placed team in all groups were still discarded. As a result, eight matches played by each team counted for the purposes of ranking the runners-up.
Ranking of second-placed teams
The eight best runners-up were determined by the following parameters, in this order:
- Highest number of points
- Goal difference
- Highest number of goals scored
- Fair play points
- Drawing of lots
|1||B||Switzerland||8||7||0||1||18||6||+12||21||Advance to second round (play-offs)|
|8||D||Republic of Ireland||8||3||4||1||7||5||+2||13|
Seeding and draw
The second round draw took place on 17 October 2017 at 14:00 CEST (UTC+2), at the FIFA headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland. Teams were seeded based on October 2017 FIFA World Rankings (shown below in brackets), with each tie seeing a seeded team drawn against an unseeded team. Each tie's order of legs was decided as part of the draw.
|Pot 1||Pot 2|
The first legs were played on 9–11 November, and the second legs were played on 12–14 November 2017.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Denmark||5–1||Republic of Ireland||0–0||5–1|
|Denmark||0–0||Republic of Ireland|
|Republic of Ireland||1–5||Denmark|
There were 13 goals scored in 8 matches, for an average of 1.63 goals per match.
- 3 goals
- 1 goal
A player is automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences:
- Receiving a red card (red card suspensions may be extended for serious offences)
- Receiving two yellow cards in two different matches (yellow card suspensions are carried forward to the play-offs, but not the finals or any other future international matches)
The following suspensions were served during the qualifying matches:
|Player||Team||Offence(s)||Suspended for match(es)|
|David Meyler||Republic of Ireland|| vs Wales (24 March 2017)
vs Wales (9 October 2017)
|vs Denmark (11 November 2017)|
|Mikael Lustig||Sweden|| vs Netherlands (6 September 2016)
vs Netherlands (9 October 2017)
|vs Italy (10 November 2017)|
|Corry Evans||Northern Ireland|| vs Azerbaijan (11 November 2016)
vs Switzerland (9 November 2017)
|vs Switzerland (12 November 2017)|
|Marco Verratti||Italy|| vs Spain (2 September 2017)
vs Sweden (10 November 2017)
|vs Sweden (13 November 2017)|
- "FIFA World Cup European play-off draw to take place on 17 October". FIFA.com. 6 September 2017.
- "Focus switches to World Cup qualifying". UEFA.com. 22 August 2016.
- "As it stands: ranking of second-placed teams". UEFA.com. 3 October 2017.
- "Competition format - FIFA World Cup - News - UEFA.com". uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
- "Huppenkothen and Hierro will present European play-off draw". FIFA.com. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- "European Qualifiers: World Cup play-off draw". UEFA.com. 17 October 2017.
- "FIXTURE LIST" (PDF). UEFA.com.
- "Regulations – 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia" (PDF). FIFA.com.