Day one of the final round of games in the World Cup Group Stages is complete, and we now know that Brazil, Netherlands, Mexico and Chile are through to the next round of games, which will be played this weekend. Groups A and B are done and dusted.
But what about the other groups? Who’s in, who’s out and who’s hanging on by a thread?
No games remain.
Brazil (first place finish) and Mexico (second place finish) have advanced. Brazil will play Chile on Saturday, while Mexico plays Netherlands on Sunday in the Round of 16. Croatia and Cameroon crash out.
No games remain.
Netherlands (first place finish) and Chile (second place finish) advance. Chile will play Netherlands on Sunday, while Netherlands play Mexico on Sunday in the Round of 16. Spain and Australia crash out.
Colombia vs Japan (Tuesday, 4pm ET)
Greece vs Ivory Coast (Tuesday, 4pm ET)
Group C is still very open. All teams could go through in the last game. However, that would need some amazing performances for the outsiders. Colombia are top of the group as they’ve beaten both Greece and Ivory Coast. The real battle will be between the bottom three. Ivory Coast are currently second. However, they’re only two points above Japan and Greece. A win for Japan and Greece today would send Ivory Coast crashing out. Greece, however, would have to beat Ivory Coast by three goals or more and hope that Colombia thrashes Japan. Japan must also win against Colombia to have any chance of qualifying and also hope that Ivory Coast beats Greece. It could get very tense today!
Italy vs Uruguay (Tuesday, Noon ET)
Costa Rica vs England (Tuesday, Noon ET)
Costa Rica are through to the next round but who will accompany them out of Group D? If England beats Costa Rica heavily (which I don’t see happening since England have already announced a B+ team for today’s match and have dropped Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart, just to name two of many today), it could have an impact on who finishes top of the group based on goal difference. But the big game will be Italy against Uruguay. Who dares wins. But if Italy ties Uruguay, that’ll be enough to send the Azzurri through on better goal difference than Uruguay.
France vs Ecuador (Wednesday, 4pm ET)
Honduras vs Switzerland (Wednesday, 4pm ET)
Okay, this will be a very tough one as all teams could still mathmetically go through. However, Honduras look very unlikely to beat Switzerland by several goals, and would they also need a big help from France to go through. France who currently are top after two victories over Honduras and Switzerland face Ecuador who are second with three points. Switzerland and Ecuador could both go through, however it seems very unlikely that Ecuador could manage a 6-0 victory over the French. Switzerland needs at least win or maybe get a draw to go through in second, but would they like Honduras need help from the French.
Argentina vs Nigeria (Wednesday, Noon ET)
Iran vs Bosnia-Herzegovina (Wednesday, Noon ET)
So, will it be Nigeria or Iran to progress now that we know that Argentina are through and Bosnia are out? Nigeria have four points from two games. However they could finish third if they get beaten badly by Argentina and Iran beat Bosnia and Herzegovina. For Iran, it’s a must win, but for Nigeria a draw or a win would put them through. It seems unlikely they could beat Argentina, and will Nigeria therefore do whatever they can to prevent Leo Messi and his side from scoring any goals.
Germany vs USA (Thursday, Noon ET)
Ghana vs Portugal (Thursday, Noon ET)
The Group of Death has become the Group of Life, with all four teams having a chance of advancing to the next round. The US and Germany will advance with a draw. A Germany win will send them through. The same applies to a US win. However, after that, it gets complicated. If Ghana beats Portugal by two goals and US loses against Germany, Ghana would go through. There’s even a slim chance that Portugal could advance.
To break it down even better, here’s how the USA can advance on Thursday in the World Cup as well as what has to happen in the other games.
Belgium vs South Korea (Thursday, 4pm ET)
Algeria vs Russia (Thursday, 4pm ET)
Group H has exactly the same scenario as Group C, but in Group H the goal difference is much closer. Belgium are first with six points due to their solid performances against Algeria and Russia. Behind them are Algeria with three points after their victory over South Korea, and in third spot we find Russia with one point from their 1-1 draw with Korea. Algeria could still finish first if they manage to beat Russia in the last game. However they need help from South Korea to beat the Belgians. For Russia, it is a must win game against Algeria, as a draw will not suffice. It’s the same scenario for the Koreans.