Russia, Uruguay, France, Croatia, England, and Belgium – congrats on progression to the knockout stage, and best of luck in your group closers and hopes of topping your respective groups.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Peru, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Panama, and Poland – it was a pleasure having you in Russia, safe travels.
For the other 18 teams, it’s all to play for with one match remaining, and with all the group finales scheduled to start on Monday, here’s a look at all the permutations for the sides still alive at the 2018 World Cup. First, the tiebreakers.
If two teams are level on points, the tiebreakers, per FIFA, are as follows:
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Goals scored in all group matches
- Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned (head-to-head)
- Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of points obtained regarding fair play conduct (yellow cards = -1, indirect red card (as a result of a second yellow card) = -3, direct red card = -4, yellow card and direct red = -5, with only one of the deductions applied to a player in a single game)
- Drawing of lots by FIFA
Both Russia and Uruguay have qualified for the last-16, with the two sides set to face each other on Monday at the Cosmos Arena in Samara with group honours to play for. The winner of Group A draws the runner-up in Group B, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
|Saudi Arabia (E)||0||0||6||-6|
- Russia wins Group A if it avoids defeat to Uruguay.
Iberian foes Spain and Portugal are sitting pretty ahead of Monday’s matches, though Iran still has a chance if Carlos Queiroz’s plucky lot can get a result against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. The winner of Group B draws the runner-up in Group A, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
- A draw for Spain versus Morocco would see it qualify.
- If Spain loses it can still go through if Portugal suffers a heavier defeat against Iran, or if that match is a low-scoring draw and Spain loses by no more than a goal.
- Portugal will qualify with a draw against Iran.
- If both Portugal and Spain suffer defeats then the side with the bigger loss would be eliminated. If they both win then the team with the biggest win will finish first.
- The top two teams currently have the same number of points, goal difference, and goals scored – they are divided by FIFA Fair Play records (Spain has one yellow card, Portugal has two).
- If all the variables remain equal there will be a drawing of lots to decide the final group positions.
- Iran will qualify with a victory over Portugal – it would win the group unless Spain also won.
France is through, and Peru’s spirited squad and passionate supporters are heading home. The winner of Group C draws the runner-up in Group D, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
- France will win the group with either a win or a draw against Denmark.
- If Denmark loses to France, and Australia beats Peru, it will come down to goal difference, with the Danes entering Tuesday’s finale boasting a two-goal advantage on the Socceroos.
All eyes on the de facto group of death as Lionel Messi’s Argentina tenure hangs in the balance. The winner of Group D draws the runner-up in Group C, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
- Croatia is all but certain of winning the group unless the Balkans lose to Iceland and Nigeria beats Argentina whilst overturning a sizeable goal difference.
- Argentina needs to beat Nigeria, and hope that if Iceland tops Croatia, the margin is two goals fewer than La Albiceleste’s haul against the Super Eagles.
- The reverse applies for the Nordic debutant.
Brazil and Switzerland sit in the driver’s seat, while Serbia has a shot if it can top Tite’s lot. No repeat of the stunning 2014 quarter-final run for Costa Rica. The winner of Group E draws the runner-up in Group F, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
|Costa Rica (E)||0||0||3||-3|
- If Brazil and Switzerland both grab the three points, La Canarinhas will win the group by maintaining the same goal difference.
- Serbia can progress with a victory over Brazil, and a defeat or draw for Switzerland versus Costa Rica.
- Brazil and Serbia will advance if Serbia beats Brazil and Switzerland loses to Costa Rica.
- Brazil will progress with a draw.
Mexico’s enthralling 1-0 win over Germany has set the table for a fiery finish with all four teams alive, albeit South Korea’s chances are slim. The winner of Group F draws the runner-up in Group E, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
- Mexico needs a point against Sweden to qualify and finish top. El Tri will go through, regardless of their own result, if Germany fails to beat South Korea.
- Sweden is certain to qualify if it betters Germany’s result. The Scandinavians will top the group if they beat Mexico and better Germany’s result.
- Germany will progress if it wins by two or more goals, or if it betters Sweden’s result versus Mexico.
- If both Germany and Sweden draw their games, then the team in the higher-scoring game will finish runner-up. If the matches finish with the same score, then Germany will finish second because it defeated Sweden.
- South Korea can qualify if it beats Germany and Sweden loses by a bigger margin than South Korea’s win.
Belgium and England lock horns on June 28 with group honours to play for. With both sides level on the first five tiebreakers, Fair Play could determine the group winner in the event of a draw. The winner of Group G draws the runner-up in Group H, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
Colombia’s comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland has set Group H for a dramatic pair of finales on June 28. Japan and Senegal are level on each of the first five tiebreakers. The winner of Group H draws the runner-up in Group G, while the second-placed side will play the winner of that quartet.
- If Japan beats Poland by the same scoreline of a Senegal victory over Colombia, Japan wins the group courtesy of FIFA Fair Play if the card situation stays the same.
- Colombia can win the group with a win over Senegal and if Japan draws or loses with Poland.
- Senegal will win the group with a draw or victory and a Japan defeat.