Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By RYAN TOLMICH
Three spots in the tournament’s knockout stages are up for grabs Wednesday with Groups E and F finishing off their group stage schedules.
Lionel Messi’s late-game heroics against Iran were enough to put Argentina through to the next round, but La Albiceleste will still have plenty on the line in their clash with Nigeria. Argentina can clinch Group F’s top position with a draw, which would likely see them avoid France in the Round of 16. Meanwhile, Nigeria can lock up their spot in the knockout stages with a point against their South American opposition.
In Group F’s other contest will see Iran take on the already eliminated Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Iranians in need of three points. Iran will don their finest sky blue Wednesday, as they will need an Argentina victory over Nigeria to have any chance of advancing to the nation’s first knockout stage.
Meanwhile, in Group E, France have all but sealed their spot in the next round, as Les Bleus find themselves in the driver’s seat in Group E. France hold a six goal advantage over Wednesday’s opposition, second place Ecuador, and will advance barring a meltdown of epic proportions. For their part, Ecuador currently hold a two goal advantage over third place Switzerland for the group’s second spot.
Group E’s other matchup will see Switzerland take on Honduras in a game that sees both teams eligible for advancing to the tournament’s next stage. Switzerland will need to better Ecuador’s result due to their current two goal disadvantage heading into Wednesday’s action. Meanwhile, Honduras are still very much a live, as a victory paired with an Argentina triumph would see everything come down to goal differential.
If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (TV listings after the jump):
TODAY’S WORLD CUP SOCCER ON TV
12 p.m. — Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Iran — ESPN2
12 p.m. — Nigeria vs. Argentina — ESPN
4 p.m. — Honduras vs. Switzerland — ESPN2
4 p.m. — Ecuador vs. France — ESPN