The next FIFA World Cup will be held in South Africa in 2010. Australia is part of the Asia qualification zone. Our zone has 43 teams and has 4.5 places allocated for the finals in South Africa. The 0.5 means that the 5th team has to play off against the winner from the Oceania zone. The zone has already been through 2 qualifying rounds designed to result in 20 teams which have been formed into 5 groups of 4 teams. Australia is in group 1 which also includes Iraq, China and Qatar.
The FIFA website has a table of results for our group. So far Australia is leading the group with wins over Qatar in Melbourne 3-0, Iraq in Brisbane 1-0 and a draw with China in Kunming 0-0. This weekend Australia will play away to Iraq in Dubai. Next weekend it will be away to Qatar in Doha. The following weekend they will play China in Sydney, which is the match we are going to see.
The top 2 teams from each of the 5 groups go through to the next round which is made up of 2 groups of 5 teams. Within each group the 5 teams play each other, home and away. The top 2 teams from each group go to the finals in South Africa. The teams which came 3rd in the 2 groups play each other. The winner gets to play the top team from the Oceania zone, and the winner of that game also goes to South Africa.