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Hong Kong's national football team poses for a group picture

Qualification history*
Despite finishing third in the inaugural AFC Asian Cup in 1956, Hong Kong have yet to make a real impact in FIFA World Cup™ qualifying competitions. They have participated in qualifying for the world football extravaganza since 1974 only to see their qualifying hopes shattered on each occasion. Their chances of breaking that cycle looked hopeful in the group stages, having dropped just four points in their opening six games. But a pair of defeats to eventual winners Qatar and failing to beat nearest rivals China PR meant third, outside of the qualifying places for the next round, was all they could manage.