Top 5 Nations that FAILED to Qualify for the 2018 World Cup

Credits: Derek Allen Phoebe De Jeu

Script written by Adrian Sousa

Wait, you mean they won’t be at the World Cup this summer? From Cameroon, to the Netherlands, to Chile, these teams didn’t’ quite make the cut. WatchMojo counts down the Top 5 Nations that FAILED to Qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

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Script written by Adrian Sousa

Top 5 Nations that FAILED to Qualify for the 2018 World Cup


Wait, you mean they won’t be at the World Cup this summer? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’ll be counting down the top five nations that failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

For this list, we’ll be considering any countries that were figured to be a shoe-in for the World Cup 2018 in Russia, but will not be taking any part in the tournament. Whether they are a former champion that made a colossal mistake or an underperforming nation that was just pipped by a lesser-fancied team, they are all in contention here!

#5: Cameroon


The African team with the most World Cup appearances must have been shocked at their failure to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament. After the Indomitable Lions were somewhat unlikely champions of the 2017 African Cup of Nations, they managed to win only once in a qualifying group consisting of themselves, of course, Zambia, Algeria, and the table-topping Nigeria. In fact, it was Nigeria who officially dashed Cameroon’s hopes of qualification after a 1 - 1 draw in Yaoundé left Cameroon with just three points from four matches. Certainly an anti-climactic follow up in fortunes for the African champions.

#4: Netherlands


Oh, the Netherlands, what has gone wrong? With the charismatic Louis Van Gaal leaving the Dutch national team post after the 2014 World Cup, the failure to qualify for Euro 2016 was seen as a one-off. However, the Oranje Army followed up that failure with another one, failing to qualify for two consecutive major tournaments for the first time since 1980. Although they finished level on points with Sweden in their qualification group, they missed out on a World Cup play-off due to an inferior goal difference. Considering the Dutch were World Cup finalists in 2010 and semi-finalists in 2014, don’t be surprised if mass restructuring is around the corner for this former footballing power.

#3: Chile


Another continental champion that won’t be making a World Cup 2018 appearance, Chile followed up their back-to-back Copa America titles with a weak South American qualification campaign. Despite winning 8 matches, more than the three teams ahead of them in the standings, Chile’s defensive issues came back to bite them, losing as many as they’d won. Needing just 4 points from two matches against Paraguay and Bolivia, Chile failed to win each, losing to Bolivia away for the first time since 2000. The final nail in the coffin was a 3 - 0 loss to Brazil, thus condemning Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and co. to watching the 2018 World Cup from their couches.

#2: U.S.A.


Ranked within the top 30 teams in the world according to FIFA at the time, and having qualified for seven consecutive World Cup tournaments, the U.S.A. found themselves needing just a single point against the 99th ranked Trinidad & Tobago. However, losing 2 - 1 to a weakened Trinidad & Tobago - who were in last place in qualifying - coupled with Honduras’ 3 - 2 victory over Mexico and Panama defeating Costa Rica 2 -1, meant that the United States finished in fifth place; second from last, and with Honduras taking the final qualification play-off spot. The failure had a big impact on the nation, as head coach Bruce Arena stepped down and a new US Soccer Federation president was elected.

#1: Italy


From Champions of the world in 2006 to failing to qualify just 12 years later. Italy found themselves in a relatively easy qualification group, besides having to manage the table-topping Spain. They stayed on pace with the Spaniards, matching their results throughout the campaign. After playing to a draw in Turin, a turning point in their qualification story came via a 3 - 0 loss in Madrid to Spain, and then a draw with Macedonia. Having to qualify via the European play-off route, Italy incredibly lost 1 - 0 on aggregate to Sweden, meaning the four-time World Cup Champions will miss their first tournament since 1958.

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