The World Cup’s host nation often gets a break in group play.
Qatar received one in Friday’s World Cup 2022 draw, but the U.S. will have to wait until 2026 for a possible easy path through group play.
The Qataris will open against Ecuador, playing in Group A along with Senegal and The Netherlands, possibly the weakest group in the tournament. Groups including two European teams are usually difficult, and that will be the case in five, including Group B, where England and a playoff team (Scotland, Ukraine, Wales) will be joined by Iran and the U.S.
The World Cup will be begin on Nov. 21 and finish in mid-December. Here are five thoughts on Friday's World Cup draw.