World Cup Group qualifying scenarios for knockout rounds

Rex Christensen
June 25, 2018

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.

All ties are broken by a list of tiebreakers, first by goal differential, then (if still level) goals scored, goals scored against the tied teams, even down to the lowest number of disciplinary points (yellow and red cards). 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.

Spain and Portugal sit top of the group on four points with Iran on three and Morocco eliminated with no points so far.

If both Portugal and Spain win, the victor of the group comes down to goal differential.

Group A is pretty much set, while Portugal and Spain need to look over their shoulder.

Spain and Portugal lead the group with four points apiece, but Iran is just a point behind. Spain face the same situation against Morocco but could also lose and still qualify as long as Portugal win. Denmark could finish first, second or third.

Advances with a win over Peru, a Denmark loss and a better goal differential than Denmark. Since Denmark and Australia drew, they too could be split by fair play. Australia, with three yellow cards, now have the edge on the Danes, who have four.

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A draw would be enough for Spain, but they have yet to show their best at the World Cup, and a convincing win would see them through with real momentum. 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. Iceland need to win and hope Nigeria lose to Argentina to go through.

Switzerland and Brazil only need a draw draws to go through, while it's a must-win for Serbia against Brazil on Thursday at 6am.

Wins or draws for Brazil against Serbia and Switzerland against Costa Rica will send both through.

Serbia must beat Brazil to qualify but a draw could see them through if the Swiss are beaten by Costa Rica by more than one goal.

Portugal know a win or draw against Iran would put them through. 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. They will also go through with any win should Mexico beat Sweden, or via a better goal difference with a victory over South Korea even if Sweden beat Mexico. Wins for Germany and Sweden would mean three teams would finish with six points, sending it to tiebreakers.

- Despite two losses South Korea still have a slim chance of advancing, but they would need to beat Germany and hope that both Sweden lose to Mexico and that goal difference goes their way.

Boring. Belgium and England are through and meet at 6am on Friday to decide who tops the group.

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