The second round of World Cup group fixtures has seen a number of sides through to the last 16, while for others, their race is effectively run.
32 will soon be officially cut down to 16, in a final wave of fixtures that promises plenty of drama, relief and heartbreak for the nations involved.
As we head into the final four days of the group stage, who is already safely through to the knockout stage, who’s definitely playing for the final time before heading home, and who still has it all to play for?
— Samuel Apam Sammer (@apamone) June 20, 2018
Qualified: Russia, Uruguay
Eliminated: Egypt, Saudi Arabia
This one is pretty straightforward in terms of progression, insofar as Russia and Uruguay have already qualified while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are out. However, there is still the small matter of topping the group to play for – Russia’s superior goal difference means that a draw against Uruguay means that they will win the group, while the South Americans need to win.
Group B points table:
Teams to make last 16 from the group will be decided after final round of the matches; Spain will face Morocco and Portugal will take on Iran. Only three teams — Spain, Portugal, Iran — are in contention as Morocco have already crashed out #IRNESP pic.twitter.com/VkRjxwbvC3
— The Himalayan Times (@thehimalayan) June 20, 2018
Spain and Portugal will be the favourites to progress from here, but it might not be that straightforward. Spain will definitely qualify if they defeat Morocco, with top spot depending on the other result. If Portugal defeat Iran by a greater margin than Spain beat Morocco (or if Spain fail to win), then Portugal will win the group. If Portugal draw, they will still qualify but top spot is not guaranteed.
If Iran win, they will qualify, at Portugal’s expense if Spain get at least a draw. If Spain and Portugal are on the same points, goal difference and goals scored (as they are now) it will come down to the sides’ fair play record to determine who finishes above who.
— Samuel Apam Sammer (@apamone) June 21, 2018
France’s two wins from two has seen them through, and a draw against Denmark will seal top spot. In the other game, a draw would also suit Denmark as it would put them through in second place (a win gets top spot), while Australia will be hoping for a France win, but they must still defeat Peru and hope for the best.
— #WorldCupRussia2018 (@thelivesoccer_) June 22, 2018
Croatia qualified with that comprehensive victory over Argentina. A point against Iceland will see them in as winners, but their strong goal difference has practically secured that anyway. Second place, however, is up for grabs. Nigeria will be buoyed by their victory over Iceland and a win against a shambolic-looking Argentina will secure them a spot in the knockout stages.
Argentina can still make the last 16 but they must beat Nigeria and hope results go their way, while Iceland have to beat Croatia and hope that either Argentina win but their own margin of victory is greater, or Nigeria and Argentina draw and they still go through on goal difference.
Group E TABLE…
— Sports Day (@MawukoDoe) June 23, 2018
Eliminated: Costa Rica
Brazil will win the group with a win against Serbia. A draw would also send them through, though winning the group would depend on Switzerland’s result against Costa Rica.
Switzerland will qualify with a win against Costa Rica, with a draw also good enough as long as Serbia don’t beat Brazil. Serbia, meanwhile, will qualify should they defeat Brazil – though which of Brazil or Switzerland misses out in that instance depends on the other result.
— Khurram ch.? (@M_khurram134) June 23, 2018
Mexico will qualify as group winners with a point against Sweden. Should the Mexicans lose, by a large enough margin, however, Sweden would leapfrog them in the group and that could see them knocked out if Germany defeat South Korea by a large enough margin.
Germany need to defeat South Korea and hope that their goal difference is better than Sweden and/or Mexico at the end. They could yet win and still be eliminated.
Bottom side South Korea could also still go through, but they need to beat Germany by several goals and hope for a Mexico win against Sweden.
Group G Table pic.twitter.com/aXq54zvRFy
— AbsaPrem (@PSL_TV) June 24, 2018
Qualified: England, Belgium
Eliminated: Panama, Tunisia
In terms of qualification, this one is settled; England and Belgium are through. As for who tops the group, the winner of England’s clash with Belgium wins it out. If they draw, however, because their goal difference, goal difference and goals scored will all be the same, it will come down to their fair play records – meaning whoever receives fewer cards in that match could decide it.
So, Group H…
— FIFA World Cup ? (@FIFAWorldCup) June 24, 2018
Similar to Group B insofar as wins or draws for the top two will see both through. Colombia will qualify with victory over Senegal, possibly at the Africans’ expense depending on the result of the match between Poland and Japan.
For Colombia and Senegal to both qualify, Colombia would need to defeat Senegal by a lesser margin than already eliminated Poland would defeat Japan by.