FIFA World Cup, last 16: Decoding the qualification scenarios (A-E)
On Saturday, defending champions France beat Denmark to become the first team to enter the 2022 FIFA World Cup knockout stage. Striker Kylian Mbappe scored a brace, with his second-half strikes propelling them. With six points from two games, France top Group D. Meanwhile, the 2014 champions, Germany, are still in the race for the last 16. Here are the qualification scenarios.
Netherlands likely to go ahead
Qatar, the hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, have been knocked out with two consecutive defeats. Meanwhile, Group A toppers Netherlands will take on Qatar in their last group game. Even a draw will power them to the last 16 stage. Second-placed Ecuador will qualify with a win or draw against Senegal. Senegal, third, would have to beat Ecuador to go through.
Will England go through?
Group B toppers England require a win or draw against Wales to reach the last 16. They might even qualify after losing, as they have a +4 goal difference. Iran (second) and USA (third) are still in contention to qualify for the last 16. Bottom-placed Wales need to beat England, and their chances depend upon the result of the Iran-USA game.
Can Poland qualify?
Toppers Poland need a win or a tie against second-placed Argentina to qualify. They can be in contention even after a loss unless Saudi Arabia beat Mexico. Meanwhile, Argentina will qualify by beating Poland. However, a draw will bring goal difference margin into play. Argentina will get eliminated with a defeat. Both Saudi Arabia (third) and Mexico (fourth) are still in contention.
France are already through; Australia, Denmark in contention
As stated, defending champions France have become the first team to enter the 2022 FIFA World Cup knockout stage. With six points from two games, France top Group D. If Australia (second) win against Denmark (third), they will be through. Denmark require at least a win against Australia to qualify. Tunisia can qualify if they beat France and Australia lose to Denmark.
Spain need a draw to qualify; Germany still alive
Spain, who lead the Group E standings, need a draw against second-placed Japan to qualify for the last 16 stage. The former would qualify even with a loss if Costa Rica (third) and Germany (fourth) play out a draw. Germany would have to beat Costa Rica to enhance their chances of qualifying. Spain's win would also put Germany in a good spot.