Malaysia's World Cup fate decided

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Malaysia will face three Middle Eastern countries and one fellow Southeast Asian member in Group A as they bid to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Harimau Malaya, who were placed in Pot 5 for Tuesday's draw for the second round of AFC qualifiers held in Kuala Lumpur, will face United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Timor-Leste.

Southeast Asia's chances of having more representatives in the following round of qualification were significantly reduced after Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia were drawn together into Group F.

As for the rest of the region, Singapore and Cambodia will have to duke it out with Japan, Syria and Afghanistan in Group E, while Myanmar and Laos will take on Korea Republic, Kuwait and Lebanon in Group G.

The Philippines, who were placed in Pot 3, have arguably a more favourable draw compared to their neighbours as they were grouped with Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Korea DPR and Yemen.

The second round, which will also act as qualifiers for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, will take place between June 11th, 2015 and March 29th, 2016.

Only group winners are guaranteed a place in the third round of the AFC qualification, with four best runners-up across all groups advancing as well.

In Malaysia's previous qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they were knocked out 6-4 on aggregate by Singapore.

Draw in full:

GROUP A: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Timor-Leste, Malaysia

GROUP B: Australia, Jordan, Tajikistan, Krygyzstan, Bangladesh

GROUP C: China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong

GROUP D: Iran, Oman, India, Turkmenistan, Guam

GROUP E: Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Singapore, Cambodia

GROUP F: Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia ,Taipei

GROUP G: Korea Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Myanmar, Laos

GROUP H: Uzbekistan, Bahrain, , Philippines, Korea DPR, Yemen

(Picture: asiana.my)