Iran qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

There are still 29 places available at Russia 2018

Iran qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Picture by: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

Iran have become the first Asian team to qualify for next summer's World Cup in Russia.

Hosts Russia and South American giants Brazil are the only two other sides to have had previously qualified for the 32-team event. Iran's place was secured with a 2-0 over Uzbekistan in Tehran on Monday night.

In 16 matches, Iran have only conceded three goals in qualifying, and have qualified for Russia with two games to spare.

They currently lie top of the AFC Third Round Group A on 20 points, seven clear of South Korea. With only 4.5 spots up for grabs for Asian sides, four rounds of qualifying are required to reach the World Cup.

Russia 2018 will be Iran's fifth time competing at the World Cup, and fourth since 1998. In 2014, they finished at the bottom of Group F after winning a single point. That came in a scoreless draw against Nigeria in Curitiba.

By qualifying for the tournament the Iranians have made a little bit of history. It is the first time the team will play in successive World Cups.

Such has been their recent dominance in AFC qualifying, it's the second time in a row that the team have qualified a full-year in advance of the tournament.