FIFA World Cup 2018: Ahead of final group stage ties, here are scenarios for teams to make it to the Round of 16

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on 25 June, and is being edited to reflect the results of Monday (25 June)

The second round of fixtures in the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stage is over. Six teams have booked their spots in the Round of 16 with 17 teams fighting for the remaining 10 spots.

Ahead of the third and final group stage fixtures, take a look at what each team has to do to qualify for the knockout rounds.

Here are the tie-break scenarios for rankings in the groups:

— Greatest number of points

— Goal difference in all group matches

— Goals scored in all group matches

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings shall be determined as follows:

— Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned

— 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. (Here yellow cards earned will see teams docked a point, indirect red card as a result of a second yellow card will see teams docked three points. Teams will lose four points for a direct red card, while yellow card and direct red will see them lose five points, with only one of the deductions applied to a player in a single game.)

— Drawing of lots by FIFA

Teams that have qualified so far: Russia, Uruguay, France, Croatia, England, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.

Teams that are eliminated: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Peru, Costa Rica, South Korea, Tunisia, Panama, Poland and Iran.

Group A

Russia and Uruguay have qualified for the Round of 16 from Group A. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Russia and Uruguay have qualified for the Round of 16 from Group A. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Russia and Uruguay are through to the Round of 16 after winning both their opening matches against Saudi Arabia and Egypt. On Monday, their clash in Samara will decide the winner of Group A. If the match ends in a draw, Russia will finish first due to their superior goal difference. Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been eliminated and will face off to avoid finishing at the bottom of the group.

Update: Uruguay (nine points) and Russia (six) made the cut after the last group stage matches.

Group B

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Spain and Portugal look poised to qualify from Group B. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Both Spain and Portugal have four points off two games and have identical goal differences with four goals scored and three conceded. They also drew their match 3-3. However, Spain are first because they have a better fair play record than Portugal. The Spaniards have only one yellow card as opposed to their Iberian rivals' two.

Iran are third with three points and play Portugal in their final match. The winner of that clash will move on to the knockout stages. For Spain, a draw against Morocco would be enough for them to qualify. Even if they lose, they would still qualify if Portugal beat Iran. However, if both Spain and Portugal lose, the team with the heavier defeat will crash out with Iran topping the group.

With regards to who tops the group in case both Spain and Portugal win, the team with the bigger winning margin will finish first. If both teams with an identical margin, then fair play record will decide who tops the group.

Update: Spain (five points) topped the group while Portugal finished second (five) after the last group stage matches.

 

Group C

Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

France have already qualified for the Last 16 with Denmark most likely to join them. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

France have already qualified for the knockout rounds with six points while Peru have been knocked out. Denmark, with four points and Australia, with one point, are in contention to join France into the next round. In the final round of fixtures, Denmark take on France with Australia playing Peru.

Denmark will qualify for the Round of 16 with a point. However, if they lose, they would hope that Peru do them a favour and either beat or hold Australia to a draw.

The Socceroos need to win and hope that France beat Denmark. The winner of the France-Denmark clash will top the group. France will top the group with a point too.

Group D

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Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina all have a chance to qualify for the last-16. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Croatia have made it out of the group stage and have all but topped the group. However, all the remaining three teams have a chance of joining the Croats in the Round of 16.

Nigeria are the best-placed of the trio having won 2-0 against Iceland. The Super Eagles will qualify for the knockouts if they beat Argentina in their final match. However, if they draw, they would hope that Croatia beat or secure a draw against Iceland.

Things get complicated when it comes to Iceland and Argentina. Iceland have to beat Croatia no matter what to stand a chance of qualifying and need Nigeria to not win. If the Nigeria-Argentina match ends in a draw, then Iceland have to beat Croatia by three goals to leapfrog ahead of Nigeria due to a better goal difference.

Argentina need to win against Nigeria and they will qualify if Iceland fail to beat Croatia. If both Iceland and Argentina win, then the team with the better goal difference will qualify. If both teams finish with identical goal difference then the team which has scored more goals will join Croatia in the next round. Before the final round, Argentina have three yellow cards to Iceland's none.

Group E

Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia are in contention to make it to the Round of 16 from Group E. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

None of the teams have assured qualification to the next round but Costa Rica have bowed out from the tournament after losing both their opening matches. Brazil and Switzerland have four points. Brazil are first in the group with a +2 goal difference compared to Switzerland's +1. Serbia are third with three points.

Brazil will secure entry to the knockouts with a point against Serbia. The winner of the match between Switzerland and Serbia is guaranteed to progress to the next round.

If both Brazil and Switzerland win with an identical scoreline, Brazil will top the group due to a better goal difference. For Switzerland to finish first, they need to better Brazil's result by at least two goals.

Group F

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All four teams in Group F have a chance of making it to the Round of 16. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Group F is possibly the toughest group to predict with all four teams in contention to reach the next round. Despite winning both their opening matches, Mexico still haven't booked their Last 16 spot. However, a point against Sweden will be enough for the North American side to qualify. They will also qualify with a loss if Germany fail to beat South Korea. Germany and Sweden both have three points and similar goal difference and goal scored records but Germany are second as they beat Sweden. Now comes the complicated bit. There is a scenario where there will be a three-way tie for first and second place and another scenario where there will be a three-way tie for second place. Let's tackle the former scenario first.

Scenario A: Sweden and Germany both win and they end up having six points with Mexico.

For Mexico to qualify: Mexico can only qualify if both matches are decided by a one-goal margin apart from a 1-0 scoreline and their match has more goals than Germany's. This will see Mexico progress at Germany's expense due to more goals scored. However, any other result will see Mexico crash out due to a poor goal difference. If both games end 1-0, Germany and Sweden will progress with the top spot decided by fair play rules.

For Sweden to qualify: Sweden will qualify if they beat Mexico by a two-goal margin.

For Germany to qualify: Germany will go through if they beat South Korea by a two-goal margin and Mexico lose by the same or higher margin.

Scenario B: South Korea win and Sweden lose which will see South Korea, Sweden and Germany second with three points

For Germany to qualify: Germany will only qualify only if they lose 1-0 to South Korea and Sweden lose by a two-goal margin to progress on head-to-head goal difference. South Korea will finish bottom due to their negative goal difference.

For Sweden to qualify: Sweden need to lose 1-0 to Mexico and hope that South Korea beat Germany by the same scoreline. This will trigger a mini-league between Sweden, South Korea and Germany. The Koreans will finish last as they would go out on head-to-head goals scored. Sweden will qualify if they finish with a better fair play record than Germany. Sweden have -3 points to Germany's -5.

For South Korea to qualify: The South Koreans will qualify if they beat Germany by at least two goals.

Group G

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England and Belgium will face off to decide who will top Group G. Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

England and Belgium have qualified for the Round of 16 while Tunisia and Panama have been knocked out. England and Belgium have six points with same goal difference and goals scored. However, England are first as they have only two yellow cards to Belgium's three.

The winner of the match between England and Belgium will top the group. If they draw, the team with the better fair play record will top the group. However, if there's a tie in the fair play record, then lots will be picked to decide who will top the group.

Group H

Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

Image courtesy: Twitter @FIFAWorldCup

After the end of Matchday Two, Japan and Senegal lead Group H with four points each. The duo also has an identical goal difference and has score the same number of goals. However, Japan top the group as they have only three yellow cards as opposed to Senegal's five. Colombia are third with three points while Poland have exited the tournament. In the final round of fixtures, Senegal take on Colombia while Japan face Poland.

Japan will be through to the next round if they win a point against Poland. The Asians will top the group if they beat Poland and Senegal fail to win against Colombia. Even if they lose, the Blue Samurais can still make it to the last-16 if Colombia lose.

Like Japan, Senegal need a point against Colombia to make it to the last 16. They will finish ahead of Japan if they win and Japan fail to beat Poland. If both Senegal and Japan win, the team with the better result will top the group. If both teams win with an identical scoreline, the team with the better fair play record will top the group.

Colombia will make it to the Last 16 if they beat Senegal. If they draw, they will still qualify if Japan lose to Poland.

If both Japan and Senegal lose, Colombia will top the group with the team that loses by the smallest margin finishing in second place. If both Japan and Senegal lose by identical margins, then the team with the better fair play record will advance.

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Updated Date: Jun 26, 2018 12:34 PM

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