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7 finalists to emerge from World Cup qualifying

Updated: 2013-10-14 13:42

LONDON - The World Cup qualifying competition reaches a dramatic climax on Tuesday when the European, South American and CONCACAF zones arrive at the point of no return.

Coaches, players and fans in seven countries will rejoice or sigh as their teams join the 14 who have qualfied for next year's finals in Brazil.

Four European teams will clinch their places, two from South America and one from CONCACAF, the North and Central American and Caribbean zone.

Playoff places across all three regions will also be decided.

But qualifying for Brazil is no guarantee of prolonged joy, or job security, as Holger Osieck discovered on Saturday when he was dismissed as Australia's coach despite leading them to their fourth finals last month.

The Australian FA axed him following a 6-0 friendly defeat to France, a month after a 6-0 defeat to Brazil.

That, however, is an exception.

Generally, coaches who cross the finish line first will lead their countries.

This group should include Vicente del Bosque, of world champions Spain, one of four European teams who can confirm their passage on Tuesday.

Only one reigning champion has failed to defend their title since the World Cup began in 1930 - Uruguay, who did not enter in 1934. Spain are unlikely to join them and share that distinction.

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