Top Stories

A look at the World Cup knockout round clinching scenarios


Six teams have already punched their tickets to the knockout round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

With 10 spots still up for grabs entering the final games of group play, madness could ensue in certain groups.

Group A and Group G have two teams confirmed through to the round of 16, while Group D and Group F appear to be the most chaotic with all four teams still alive.

Below is a look at the clinching scenarios for the 24 teams still alive at the World Cup going into Matchday 3.

Group A

Russia- 6



Saudi Arabia- 0

Matchday 3 Games: Russia vs. Uruguay, Egypt vs. Saudi Arabia

The path to first place in Group A is simple for both Russia and Uruguay, as they winner of Monday’s game in Samara earns a matchup with the second-place team in Group B.

With plenty left to be played for in Group B, it’s going to be hard for Russia and Uruguay to play to lose and avoid a matchup with Spain or Portugal.

A tie favors the host nation, as Russia boasts a superior goal difference at +7.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are both eliminated and are playing for pride and third place in Group A.

Group B

Spain- 4


Iran- 3

Morocco- 0

Matchday 3 Games: Spain vs. Morocco, Portgual vs. Iran

All eyes will be on Kaliningrad and Saransk on Monday afternoon, as Group B and its many clinching scenarios come into view.

For Spain and Portugal, the task is straightforward. The pair of Iberian giants win and move on to the knockout round.

Since both teams have the same goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed, the team with the most favorable scoreline would win Group B.

If Spain and Portugal win by the same score, the tiebreaker would go to fair play points, which is currently in favor of Spain.

If Iran upsets Portugal, it would advance to the knockout round, while a draw might not be enough since the Asian nation has a worse goal differential than both Spain and Portugal.

Group C





Matchday 3 Games: France vs. Denmark, Australia vs. Peru

France is already through to the round of 16, but it hasn’t secured the top spot in Group C yet.

In order to do so, Les Bleus must win or tie against Denmark in Moscow on Tuesday.

A win by Denmark would earn them first in Group C while eliminating Australia.

The Socceroos would also be knocked out if Denmark ties France at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Australia’s knockout-round berth can only be secured if it beats Peru, France beats Denmark and it makes up a goal differential deficit of two.

Peru is eliminated, but it could take third in Group C with a win over Australia.

Group D





Matchday 3 Games: Iceland vs. Croatia, Argentina vs. Nigeria

Croatia can finish no worse than second in Group D, and the only way that happens is if it loses to Iceland and Nigeria beats Argentina while making up five in the goal differential column.

Nigeria’s path is simple. All the Super Eagles need is a win over Argentina to advance to the round of 16.

Argentina needs a win over Nigeria and Iceland to lose or draw to go through straight away. If Iceland and Argentina win, Argentina must make up one in the goal differential column.

Scoring two or more goals than Iceland would allow Lionel Messi and Co. to avoid total humiliation.

Group E




Costa Rica-0

Matchday 3 Games: Brazil vs. Serbia, Switzerland vs. Costa Rica

Wins by Brazil and Switzerland would put them through to the round of 16 over Serbia, with first place being sorted out by goal differential, which leans in favor of the Selecao after two games.

If Serbia and Switzerland are victorious, the Swiss would top Group E with Serbia slotting into second.

Draws in both games also favor Brazil and Switzerland, which puts Serbia in a must-win situation.

If Serbia wins and Switzerland loses to already eliminated Costa Rica, all sorts of tiebreakers could be enacted, but currently Brazil hold an advantage in goal differential and goals conceded over the Swiss.

Group F




South Korea-0

Matchday 3 Games: Mexico vs. Sweden, Germany vs. South Korea

Mexico isn’t in the clear yet, as it must win or draw against Sweden to secure a berth in the round of 16.

If Sweden and Germany win on Wednesday, things will get messy for El Tri.

A 1-0 loss to Sweden combined with a Germany victory would put Mexico and Sweden level on goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed,

If that situation occurs, fair play points or the drawing of lots could be initiated.

Germany is in the clear with a win over last-place South Korea, while a tie combined with a Mexico-Sweden tie of the same score would drop back to fair play points or drawing of lots.

Joachim Loew’s team could even advance with a loss if Sweden falls to Mexico by a worse scoreline, but that seems unlikely given how poor South Korea’s performed in Russia.

Sweden needs to win by more than two goals to avoid a sloppy tiebreaker situation, while a tie only does it any good if Germany loses or fails to score in a tie.

Group G





Matchday 3 Games: England vs. Belgium, Tunisia vs. Panama

All eyes will be on Kaliningrad, where England and Belgium face off for first place in Group G.

The winner of the contest wins the group, while the loser takes second.

However, the situation becomes complicated if a tie occurs between the European nations.

Currently, the Three Lions and Red Devils are tied on goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed.

England holds the slightest of tiebreakers in fair pair points, as it has one less yellow than Belgium entering Thursday.

Group H





Matchday 3 Games: Poland vs. Japan, Senegal vs. Colombia

All eyes will be on the Senegal-Colombia clash on Thursday, as both teams have captured the attention of neutrals with their terrific play.

The problem for both teams is there’s a good chance only one of them will go through to the knockout round with Japan leading the group after two matches.

If Japan beats Poland, it advances alongside the winner of Senegal-Colombia.

If Japan falls and a draw occurs in the other match, Senegal would be through on points and Colombia moves on due to goal differential.

The chaotic situation in Group H features victories by Colombia and Poland, which would leave Japan and Senegal level on four points.

After two games, Japan and Senegal are tied on goal differential, goals scored and goals allowed. Japan holds a slight edge in fair play points, which is why it leads Group H.

Leave a Comment