We’re reaching the business end of the World Cup group stage with Groups A, B, and D are done and dusted Group C will also be completed Wednesday. So far, France, Australia, Portugal, England, Senegal, United States, Netherlands, and Brazil have booked their passage to the round of 16. Seven more will join them on the final matchday of each group. Qatar have also joined South Africa as the only World Cup hosts to ever fail to make it out of the group stage. Let’s take a look at who can join them in the last 16 and what their path is to get there.
Looking at tiebreakers, the start is simple with the team that has the most points advancing. If two teams are level on points then it will go to their overall goal difference. If they still can’t be split, next up the team that has scored the most goals will be the side to advance. The rules will then be reapplied with only the head-to-head match between the two teams that are tied. So the point total in those matches is next followed by goal difference in head-to-head play and goals scored. If they make it the entire way through and can’t be split it finally goes to the fair play system.
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The fair play system will see the team with the fewest penalties in matches advance. So a team loses a point per yellow card, three points for each red card caused by a second yellow card, four points for a straight red card and if a yellow is followed by a straight red card it will count as five points.
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Here are the groups including all groups that have played two matches
- Netherlands: Group Winners.
- Senegal: Second place.
- Ecuador: Eliminated.
- Qatar: Eliminated.
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- England: Group Winners.
- United States: Second place.
- Iran: Eliminated.
- Wales: Eliminated.
- Argentina: Group Winners.
- Poland: Second Place.
- Mexico: Eliminated.
- Saudi Arabia: Eliminated.
- France: Group Winners.
- Australia: Second place.
- Tunisia: Eliminated.
- Denmark: Eliminated.
- Spain: Through to the last 16 with a win or draw versus Japan. Can win the group with a win over Japan. Can also advance with a loss to Japan and a draw between Costa Rica and Germany.
- Japan: Through to the last 16 with a win versus Spain. Can also advance to the last 16 with a draw against Spain and a draw between Costa Rica and Germany. Can win the group with a victory versus Spain and having a better goal difference than Costa Rica if they defeat Germany.
- Costa Rica: Can advance with a victory over Germany and a loss by one of Span/ Japan or a draw between the two. Can also advance with a draw and a loss by Japan. Can win the group with a win, a Spain loss, and making up the six goal difference between Japan.
- Germany: Can qualify for the last 16 with a win and a loss by Spain or Japan. Can also advance with a win by more than one goal and a Japan draw.
- Croatia: Can advance to the round of 16 with a win versus Belgium. Can also advance with a draw versus Belgium and a Morocco loss to Canada. Can win the group by bettering Morroco’s result.
- Morocco: Can advance to the round of 16 with a win or draw versus Canada. Can also advance to the round of 16 with a loss and a loss by Belgium or a loss, a Belgium win, and having a better goal difference than Croatia. Can win the group by bettering Croatia’s result and making up the one-goal difference.
- Belgium: Can advance to the round of 16 with a win over Croatia. Can also advance with a draw and a loss by Morocco by more than three goals.
- Canada: Eliminated from contention for the round of 16.
- Brazil: Through to the last 16, can win the group with a win or draw versus Cameroon or a Switzerland loss.
- Switzerland: Can make the last 16 with a win or draw versus Serbia. Can win the group with a win, a Brazil loss, and making up the goal difference of three.
- Cameroon: Can make the last 16 with a win versus Brazil and a Switzerland loss. Can also make the last 16 with a win versus Brazil by more than one goal and a draw between Switzerland and Serbia.
- Serbia: Can make the last 16 with a win versus Switzerland and a Cameroon loss.
- Portugal: Through to the last 16. Can win the group with a win or draw versus South Korea or a Ghana loss.
- Ghana: Can make the last 16 with a win or draw versus Uruguay. With a draw, they will need to have a better goal difference than South Korea if they defeat Portugal.
- South Korea: Can make the last 16 with a win versus Portugal and a Ghana loss or draw versus Uruguay.
- Uruguay: Can make the last 16 with a win versus Ghana and a South Korea loss or draw versus Portugal. If South Korea wins along with Uruguay, it will come to tiebreakers.