Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia took place around the globe in early to mid-November.
It is rare that during such a period, matches take place on all six continents where soccer is played, (that is, all continents except Antarctica). However, that was the case this month.
South American teams played two rounds each. The same was true for the six teams that remain in contention to qualify from the CONCACAF region, which includes North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Of the six teams still involved in qualifying from the Oceanian region, New Zealand, New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands and Tahiti played two rounds each, while Fiji and Papua New Guinea did not play any.
Meanwhile all European teams played one round, as did all those remaining active in Africa and Asia.
The biggest match of this period was without a doubt the clash between Brazil and Argentina on Thursday, November 10. The losing finalists of the 2014 World Cup dominated the encounter early on. But it was their Brazilian opponents who scored at opportune times, to win deservedly in the end by 3-0.
A day later, defending champions Germany hammered San Marino 8-0, causing a debate among the Germans about the merits of playing such weak opposition.
Meanwhile, England brushed aside their traditional rivals Scotland 3-0 and the United States suffered its first home qualifying defeat in 15 years at the hands of Mexico by two goals to one.
On Saturday, some of the most interesting scores included Nigeria’s 3-1 triumph over Algeria and Croatia’s 2-0 win over Iceland.
On Sunday, Egypt picked up a priceless 2-0 victory over Ghana, while Greece and Bosnia Herzegovina conceded control of their group to Belgium, as they shared the points in a 1-1 draw.
On Tuesday, Japan, South Korea and the UAE earned important victories, as all other games in Asia ended in draws that day. Argentina and Chile picked up vital wins in South America, while Costa Rica shocked the US 4-0 in CONCACAF.
It is still early on most continents in World Cup qualifying, but several prominent nations are already in danger of missing Russia 2018.