WCQ: Australia, Japan in Group B, South Korea meet Iran in Group A

Australia and Japan will meet in the final round of 2018 AFC World Cup qualification for the third successive time following the draw made in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday afternoon.

The Samurai Blue and the Socceroos developed a major rivalry after clashes at the 2006 World Cup, qualification for the 2010 and 2014 global tournaments and the 2011 Asian Cup final which Japan won 1-0.

Both will be hoping to finish in the top two spots in Group B and qualify automatically for Russia.

The two heavyweights will also have to contend with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and ASEAN champions Thailand.

Old rivals South Korea and Iran will also meet for the third time in a row and fight it out in Group A along with Uzbekistan, China, Qatar and Syria.

As well as the top two, the two third-placed teams will face each other for the chance to participate in a final inter-continental playoff with a place in the World Cup at stake.

The first round of games will take place on Sept. 1, 2016.