World Cup Permutations: Breakdown of the final round of group games | world cup 2022

Here’s how the possible scenarios for qualifying for the World Cup round of 16 play out from the final group stage matches, which begin on Tuesday.

Group A – Ecuador, the Netherlands, Qatar, Senegal

Final matches Tuesday 29 December, 15:00 GMT: Netherlands v Qatar, Ecuador v Senegal

The Netherlands: A draw against Qatar will be enough for Louis van Gaal’s men to qualify.

Ecuador: Ecuador only needs a draw against Senegal to advance.

Senegal: Senegalese have to he defeated Ecuador to reform them.

Qatar They’re already out, and there remains a mathematical chance of Senegal qualifying with a draw, if the Netherlands suffer a heavy defeat against Qatar, but given the hosts’ performance so far in this tournament, it seems unlikely that this will enter the equation.

If both Ecuador and the Netherlands win, then the margin of victory and the number of goals scored will determine who tops the group. If they both win by the same score on Tuesday, they will finish with identical records, with who will finish first to be determined by their disciplinary records. Holland is better at the moment, with a yellow card for three from Ecuador. If they finish tied, FIFA draws lots to see who plays in which second round match.

A fan of the Netherlands in one of the matches. Photo: Themba Hadebe/AP

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales

Final fixtures Tuesday 29 December, 19:00 GMT: Wales v England, Iran v USA

England: A win against Wales will see England top the group. A draw will guarantee the classification. In fact, England will progress with no result barring a loss to Wales over three goals.

Welsh: Wales have to beat England and hope Iran and USA draw. If the USA vs. Iran match ends in a winner, then Wales have to they beat England by four goals or more to eliminate them outright. Wales have not beaten England since 1984 and have never managed a winning margin of four goals or more against their nearest neighbours.

Iran: Currently second in the group, a win against the USA will place Iran in the second round of the World Cup for the first time in their history. A draw against the USA will suffice for them too, provided Wales fail to beat England.

USA: They must beat Iran to qualify, the result in the other game is irrelevant to their chances.

Wales fans in Doha for the World Cup.
Wales fans in Doha for the World Cup. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Final matches Wednesday 30 November, 19:00 GMT: Poland v Argentina, Saudi Arabia v Mexico

Poland: Poland qualify with a win or draw against Argentina. They’re not necessarily out if they lose, as long as Saudi Arabia doesn’t beat Mexico.

Argentina: Argentina must beat Poland to secure the pass. A tie will suffice if Saudi Arabia and Mexico tie, or unless Mexico wins that game by four or more goals.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia qualified with a win. A draw will suffice if Poland beat Argentina.

Mexico: Mexico qualify if they win Y Poland beat Argentina. If Poland and Argentina tie, and Mexico win, it has to be by four or more goals to overcome Argentina’s goal difference.

A fan poses for a photo with a cardboard cutout of Argentina's Lionel Messi in Doha.
A fan poses for a photo with a cardboard cutout of Argentina’s Lionel Messi in Doha. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Group D: Australia, Denmark, France, Tunisia

Final matches Wednesday 30 November, 15:00 GMT: Australia v Denmark, Tunisia v France

France have qualified.

Australia: A victory against Denmark gives them the pass. A draw will suffice, unless Tunisia beat France, in which case the Tunisians would advance.

Denmark: A win against Australia sees them through, unless Tunisia beat France, in which case goal difference would decide between Denmark and Tunisia. A draw is not good for Denmark.

Tunisia: Tunisia must beat France in a match that is likely to be very tense because of the colonial ties between the two nations. The Tunisians should also expect a draw between Australia and Denmark. If Tunisia beat France Y Denmark beat Australia, then whoever has the higher goal difference between the Danes and the Tunisians will advance.

Tunisian fans attending their match against Australia.
Tunisian fans attending their match against Australia. Photo: Hasan Bratic/SIPA/Shutterstock

permutations for EH groups to come

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