World Cup tiebreakers, advancement scenarios and group standings


When the 32 teams of the World Cup get their group stage games, the progression scenarios start to become clear. Two teams from each of the eight groups advance and are then drawn into a 16-team knockout stage that will determine the participants in the December 18 final.

This is how teams are placed in groups, as explained FIFA 2022 World Cup Rules:

1. Most points from three group matches (each team gets three points for a win and one for a draw).

2. Goal difference in all group matches.

3. Goals scored in all group matches.

And if two or more teams are still tied after that? We go:

1. Highest score in group matches between the respective teams.

2. Goal difference in group matches between the respective teams.

3. Goals scored in group matches between the respective teams.

4. Greater number of points for fair play behavior (yellow cards = minus-1; indirect red card, as a result of another yellow card = minus-3, direct red card = minus-4, yellow card and direct red = minus-5, only one of deductions applies to the player in one game).

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World Championship schedule, rankings and groups

And if there is still a tie in some oddity?

Then the FIFA Organizing Committee draws lots.

Here are the standings for each group and the scenarios for the groups that have played two games. X- means a team that has made progress. Y- means the team that has achieved first place in the group. The Z symbol means a team that has been eliminated from the promotion.

Group A rankings and scenarios

Netherlands: The group favorite advanced to the knockout stage with a win or a draw against Qatar on Tuesday. If both the Netherlands and Ecuador win their last match, the winner of Group A would be determined starting from the semi-finals on goal difference, where they are currently tied. If both Tuesday’s matches are tied, the match would start with goals scored.

Ecuador: Like the Netherlands, Ecuador are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs with a win or a draw on Tuesday when Ecuador face Senegal.

Senegal: The African champion would advance to the playoffs by beating Ecuador. It would be eliminated with a loss. With a draw against Ecuador, Senegal would need an unlikely Qatari win over the Netherlands to stand a chance. Senegal can still win the group with a win over Ecuador and a draw or loss for the Netherlands against Qatar.

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Qatar: The host country cannot advance to the playoffs.

Group B rankings and scenarios

English: The group favorites advance to the knockout stages with a win or a draw against Wales on Tuesday. England can still progress with a defeat to Wales depending on points and other results. England would win the group with, for example, a win or a draw and Iran-USA with a draw. It is even possible that England could win the group with a loss, depending on other results.

Iran: Iran advance to the playoffs with a win against the United States on Tuesday or a draw against the United States and an England win or draw against Wales. Iran would win the group with a win and England losing or drawing against Wales. Iran would go down with a loss to the United States.

United States: The Americans advanced to the playoffs with a win over Iran on Tuesday. They would go down with a loss or a draw against Iran. They could still win the group with a win over Iran, although that would likely require England losing to Wales.

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Wales: Wales are relegated if England lose or draw. To get a realistic goal, the Welsh have to beat England and draw the match between Iran and the United States.

Group C standings and scenarios

Group D rankings and scenarios

Group E’s rankings and scenarios

Group F rankings and scenarios

Group G’s rankings and scenarios

Group H’s rankings and scenarios

World Cup in Qatar

Last: The United States drew 0-0 with England in their second World Cup match on Friday to set up a must-win group final against Iran. Read the highlights from the B group match.

Political protest: Iran’s World Cup campaign is underpinned by a nationwide protest movement targeting its clerical leadership, with inevitable and ongoing tensions spilling over onto the field.

Highlights: While Saudi Arabia was above Argentina on Tuesday, now came the spectacle 73 minutes in Brazil over Serbia. Richarlison’s miracle goal confirmed Brazil’s opening victory 2-0.

Perspective: A beautiful game is good. Suitcases full of cash are better. Read Sally Jenkins on Qatar’s human rights dispute.


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