World Cup 2014: What teams have to do to qualify for round of 16

The battle to avoid joining the likes of Spain and England on the World Cup scrapheap begins in earnest on Monday as the final round of first phase fixtures kicks off with Brazil bidding to book their place in the last 16.

The most entertaining World Cup in years has made a mockery of pre-tournament predictions, with holders Spain condemned to an early flight home after only two matches and England, perhaps less surprisingly, following close behind.

 World Cup 2014: What teams have to do to qualify for round of 16

File picture of Brazil's Neymar. Reuters

The identity of the remaining teams joining them in the departure lounge will be decided over the next four days as the round-robin stage of the tournament reaches its climax.

In Group C, Colombia can finish the first phase with a 100 percent record if they defeat Japan in Cuiaba on Tuesday. The Colombians have already qualified for the last 16, and a point will be enough to top the group.

Japan, who have one point from two games, must beat Colombia and hope Ivory Coast fail to beat Greece to have any chance of going.

Also on Tuesday, England will bid a sorry farewell to the tournament after their elimination from Group D, with Costa Rica needing only a draw in Belo Horizonte to ensure first place from the group.

The group's biggest drama is likely to come in the match between Uruguay and Italy, beaten by Costa Rica on Friday. A draw would be enough for the Italians to advance; Uruguay must win to go through.

The final round of games in Groups E & F see France and Argentina facing Ecuador and Nigeria respectively knowing a point will be enough to finish top of their standings.

A draw could be enough for Ecuador to advance in Group E if Switzerland fail to beat Honduras by a significant margin.

Similarly, Argentina's opponents Nigeria need only a point to go through after their 1-0 win on Saturday over Bosnia, who play Iran in their last match.

Group G remains finely balanced with Germany and the United States in pole position to qualify.

The Americans heroic 2-2 draw with Portugal on Sunday leaves them level with Germany on four points.

A draw between Jurgen Klinsmann's US side and the Germans on Thursday would be enough to take both teams through.

After wins over Algeria and Russia, Belgium will back themselves to secure the point they need against South Korea to clinch first place in Group H.

A South Korean win would mean Russia have to beat Algeria to avoid elimination. Algeria, currently second on three points, will qualify with a win, but a draw could be enough.

AFP

Updated Date: Jun 24, 2014 12:50:49 IST