FIFA World Cup 2022: Scenarios, standings, tiebreakers as USA set to play Netherlands in knockout stage

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We’re reaching the business end of the World Cup group stages and Groups A and B are done and dusted. So far, France, Portugal, England, Senegal, USA, Netherlands and Brazil have booked their place in the Round of 16. They will be joined by nine more players on the final day of matches in each group. Qatar has also joined South Africa as the only World Cup hosts ever to fail to make it out of the group stage. Let’s take a look at who can join the trio in the last 16 and what their journey is to get there.

Looking at tiebreakers, the start is simple, the team with the most points advances. If two teams are tied on points, it will be reduced to their combined goal difference. If they still cannot be divided, the team with the most goals will advance. After that, the rules will only be re-applied to a head-to-head game between two teams that have drawn. Thus, the points total in these matches is followed by head-to-head goal difference and goals scored. If they go all the way and can’t be split, it ends up being used in a fair game system.

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The system of fair play provides that the team that has accumulated the fewest penalties in the matches will advance. Thus, a team loses a point for each yellow card, three points for each red card caused by a second yellow card, four points for a red card, and if a yellow card is followed by a red card, it will count as five points.

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Here are the groups, including all groups that have played two matches

Group A

  • Netherlands: Group winners.
  • Senegal: Second place
  • Ecuador: Liquidated
  • Qatar: Liquidated

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Group B

  • England: Group winners.
  • United States: Second place.
  • Iran: Liquidated.
  • Wales: Liquidated.

Group C

  • Poland: Can win the group and qualify for the round of 16 with a win over Argentina. It is also possible to qualify for the Round of 16 with a draw, but in that case you would only win the group if Saudi Arabia draws or loses to Mexico.
  • Argentina: Can qualify for the round of 16 by beating Poland. Can also qualify for the Round of 16 with a draw and Saudi Arabia draw or lose by less than three goals to Mexico. Can win the group with a win and a draw or loss for Saudi Arabia.
  • Saudi Arabia: Can qualify for the Round of 16 by beating Mexico. A draw and a loss for Argentina or a loss and Argentina losing by one more goal can also qualify. (ie Saudi Arabia lose 1-0 and Argentina lose 2-0, Saudi Arabia would advance
  • Mexico: Can qualify for the Round of 16 with a win and a Poland win over Argentina. You can also qualify by winning and Poland/Argentina winning on goal difference while Argentina win or draw against Poland.

Group D

  • In France: Qualified for the round of 16. Can win the group with a win or draw against Tunisia or a draw or loss for Australia.
  • Australia: Can qualify for the round of 16 with a win against Denmark. Can also qualify with a draw and Tunisia’s draw or loss.
  • Denmark: Can qualify for the round of 16 with a win against Australia.
  • Tunisia: Can qualify for the Round of 16 with a win against France and Australia’s loss to Denmark, with Tunisia winning by more goals than Denmark. Tunisia can also qualify for the round of 16 by beating France and drawing in Australia.

Group E

  • Spain: To the last 16 with a win or a draw against Japan. Can win the group with a win over Japan. A loss to Japan and a draw between Costa Rica and Germany can also advance.
  • Japan: Through to the last 16 with a win against Spain. A draw against Spain and a draw between Costa Rica and Germany can also make it to the Round of 16. Can win the group with a win against Spain and a better goal difference than Costa Rica if they beat Germany.
  • Costa Rica: Can progress with a win over Germany and a loss against Spain/Japan or a draw between the two. It is also possible to advance with a draw and Japan’s loss. Can win the group with a win, a loss for Spain and a six goal difference between Japan.
  • Germany: Can qualify for the last 16 with a win and a loss for Spain or Japan. It is also possible to advance with a win of more than one goal and a Japanese draw.

Group F

  • Croatia: Can enter the round of 16 with a win against Belgium. A draw against Belgium and a Morocco loss to Canada could also advance. Can win the group by improving Morroco’s score.
  • Morocco: A win or a draw against Canada can advance to the Round of 16. It is also possible to reach the Round of 16 with a loss and a Belgium loss or a loss, a Belgium win and a better goal difference than Croatia. Can win the group by bettering Croatia’s score and coming back from a one goal difference.
  • Belgium: Can enter the round of 16 by defeating Croatia. It is also possible to advance with a draw and Morocco losing by more than three goals.
  • Canada: Eliminated from the battle for the round of 16.

Group G

  • Brazil: Through to the last 16, can win the group with a win or draw against Cameroon or a loss to Switzerland.
  • Switzerland: Can go into the last 16 with a win or a draw against Serbia. Can win the group with a win, a loss for Brazil and a three goal difference.
  • Cameroon: Can go into the last 16 with a win against Brazil and a loss for Switzerland. Can also reach the last 16 with a win against Brazil by more than one goal and a draw between Switzerland and Serbia.
  • Serbia: Can enter the last 16 with a win against Switzerland and a loss to Cameroon.

Group H

  • Portugal: Through to the last 16. Can win the group with a win or draw against South Korea or a loss for Ghana.
  • Ghana: Can go into the last 16 with a win or a draw against Uruguay. If Portugal win, they will need a better goal difference than South Korea with a draw.
  • South Korea: Can progress to the last 16 with a win against Portugal and a loss for Ghana or a draw against Uruguay.
  • Uruguay: Can progress to the last 16 with a win against Ghana and a South Korea loss or a draw against Portugal. If South Korea wins along with Uruguay, it will go to tiebreakers.



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