Is it Coming Home? England have made it to the Round of 16 but who else has?
Written by Ethan Lowerson-Marshall on 25th June 2018
England’s emphatic 6-1 win over Panama ensured their progress out of World Cup Group G along with joint leaders Belgium – But who else is through to the Round of 16?
England captain Harry Kane scored a hatrick in the match and is now said to be gunning for the Golden Boot and wants to keep his World Cup scoring streak going into their final group game on Thursday.
While England are safely though, the likes of Brazil, Germany, Spain and Portugal have yet to secure their places in the knockout stages and Argentina are facing a tough task to avoid elimination.
So ahead of them getting underway later today. we look at what lies ahead for the final matches in the group stage.
Hosts Russia and Uruguay have both qualified with two wins apiece ahead of their meeting on Monday which will decide top spot. That will leave Saudi Arabia and Egypt fighting it out for third spot in the other remaining fixture.
Spain and Portugal remain favourites to qualify but as both are only a point above Iran nothing is settled. Portugal know a win or draw against Iran would put them through. Spain face the same situation against Morocco but could also lose and still qualify as long as Portugal win. Were both the favourites to lose, and both by the same scoreline, then fair play records or even drawing of lots could be needed to determine who qualifies.
Leaders France area already through but will want to beat Denmark on Tuesday to take top spot in style, although a draw would also keep them clear. Australia need to beat bottom side Peru and hope Denmark lose to France, and also need at least a two-goal swing in their favour.
Argentina need to win against Nigeria on Tuesday and hope that Iceland do not beat Croatia, who have already qualified. A win for Nigeria would see them qualify and even a draw would be good enough unless Iceland win by at least two clear goals.
Brazil would be safely through with a win or a draw against Serbia and will top the group unless Switzerland better their result, or match it with a better goal margin – the Selecao’s goal difference is currently one better. A draw with already-eliminated Costa Rica would be enough for Switzerland and defeat could still see them qualify if Serbia also lose. A win would take Serbia through and a draw could be enough if Switzerland lose by two.
Mexico need only a draw against Sweden on Wednesday while a win would see them top the group with maximum points. Germany, who face bottom side South Korea, need to at least match Sweden’s result. Draws in both games would see qualification determined by goals scored. Identical records would then see qualification decided by the better result when the teams met, which would see Germany go through courtesy of their 2-1 win.
England and Belgium will battle it out for group honours on Thursday after a 6-1 victory against Panama saw Gareth Southgate’s men make it two wins from as many matches. With Belgium also winning their first two matches both teams are on six points and with identical records on goal difference and goals scored. A draw in the final group game would see the leaders decided by fair play rules – England lead on that criteria by virtue of two yellow cards to Belgium’s three – or by drawing of lots.
Japan need only draw with Poland to progress to the next round. Poland is already out and Senegal and Colombia play off with the winner qualifying, while a draw will be enough for the African side. England will face a Group H team in the round of 16 – so depending on how both groups finish – England will face either face Japan, Senegal or Columbia.