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World Cup 2022: Knockout round qualifying permutations

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR – NOVEMBER 26: Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at Lusail Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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The World Cup group stage comes to an end on Friday with a majority of teams still in contention to advance to the round of 16. Here’s a look at the various permutations.

The group stage at the World Cup in Qatar is nearing its conclusion. Only 16 of the 32 finalists will advance to the round of 16, which kicks off the knockout stage next weekend.

Before any of that can happen, the final matchday in each of the eight groups will need to be played over the next five days. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage.

So far, only the host nation Qatar and Canada have no chance of advancing to the knockout round. Meanwhile, France, the defending World Cup champions, became the first, and for now, only team to qualify.

Groups G and H, who play on Monday, have only contested one matchday so far, while Groups A through F have played two games.

Here are the group permutations and what teams need to do starting Monday to reach the last-16.

Group A

The Netherlands needs to win or draw against Qatar to qualify. They can still qualify if they lose, but only if Ecuador defeats Senegal.Ecuador needs to win or draw in order to qualify. They can remain in contention to qualify if they lose and Qatar beats the Netherlands.Senegal needs to win to qualify, but remain in contention if they draw and Qatar beat the Dutch.

Group B

The USMNT can qualify only if they beat Iran.England can qualify with a win or draw versus Wales. Depending on goal differential, England can also qualify if they lose.Iran can advance if they beat the USMNT.Wales must win to advance and, depending on goal differential, also hope in a USMNT draw against Iran.

Group C

Argentina must win against Poland to advance, while a draw would be enough if Mexico and Saudi Arabia also draw.Poland can advance with a win or a draw, but would be knocked out by a defeat coupled with a Saudi Arabia victory.Saudi Arabia can advance if they defeat Mexico. A draw would be enough if Poland also beat Argentina. Should both matches end in a draw, Saudi Arabia would be eliminated.Mexico must win to have any chance of advancing. They will go through if Poland win. If Mexico wins and Argentina and Poland draw, it will come down to goal differential with Argentina.

Group D

France are through to the last-16, but can win the group with a win against Tunisia.Australia will advance with a win against Denmark. A draw would be enough, unless Tunisia beat France. In that scenario, Tunisia would be through on goal differential.A Denmark must win against Australia will see them through.Tunisia must defeat France and hope Denmark avoid losing to Australia.

Group E

Spain can reach the round of 16 with a win or draw against Japan.Japan are through with a win versus Spain. A draw, coupled with a tie in the Costa Rica- Germany game, will ensure they progress.Costa Rica can advance with a win against Germany. A draw would also guarantee them passage if Spain can beat Japan.Germany must win against Costa Rica. A draw, coupled with a Spain win, will see them qualify.

Group F

Croatia can advance if they win or draw against Belgium.Morocco are through if they win or draw against Canada.Belgium can qualify with a win over Croatia.

Group G

Switzerland can qualify if they defeat Brazil.A Brazil win against Switzerland, coupled with a Cameroon defeat to Serbia, will see them advance.Cameroon need to defeat Serbia, and a Switzerland loss to Brazil, will see them through.Serbia needs to defeat Cameroon and hope Brazil wins against Switzerland.

Group H

A Portugal win against Uruguay will see them advance.Ghana needs to defeat South Korea.Regardless of the outcome of Monday’s games, Uruguay and South Korea can not be eliminated.

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