knocking down the last round of group matches

This is how the possible scenarios for qualifying for the round of 16 of the World Cup from the last group games unfold:

Group E – Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, Spain

Finals Thursday 1 December, 19:00 GMT: Costa Rica – Germany, Japan – Spain

Spain: A draw will be enough for Spain to qualify. However, if they lose And Costa Rica beat Germany, they will be eliminated, which would be a big shock after opening the tournament with a 7-0 win.

Japan: A win against Spain will allow Japan to qualify. A draw means they are counting on a draw by Costa Rica and Germany to progress. If Japan draws and Costa Rica wins, Japan is eliminated. If Japan draw and Germany win by a single goal, whoever scores the most goals goes through. If Japan draws and Germany wins by more than one goal, Japan is out.

Costa Rica: A win will put Costa Rica through. A draw will suffice Self Spain also beat Japan. If Japan gets a draw, Costa Rica’s far inferior goal difference means they would make no progress.

Germany: Germans can qualify if they beat Costa Rica And Spain beats Japan. A draw is of no use to them.

A Germany fan at the Spain-Germany match. Photography: Javier Garcia/Shutterstock

Group F – Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Morocco

Finals Thursday 1 December, 15:00 GMT: Canada – Morocco, Croatia – Belgium

Croatia: A draw is enough for Croatia to qualify. They could still qualify if they lose, if Canada beat Morocco, depending on the margins of their respective wins.

Morocco: A draw will be enough to qualify. If they lose, but Croatia win against Belgium, they would still go through. If they lose and Belgium draw with Croatia, or lose and Belgium beat Croatia, whether they still qualify would depend on goal difference.

Belgium: Belgium must win to secure qualification. A draw may be enough, but only if Canada beat Morocco, and again that will depend on goal difference.

Canada they have been eliminated.

Group G – Brazil, Cameroon, Serbia, Switzerland

Finals Friday 2 December, 19:00 GMT: Cameroon-Brazil, Serbia-Switzerland

Brazil they qualified.

Swiss: A victory ensures that Switzerland moves on to the round. A defeat means they go out. If Switzerland draw, they will still go through unless Cameroon beat Brazil, in which case goal difference will come into play.

Cameroon: Cameroon will only qualify if they can beat Brazil and Switzerland fail to win. A draw between Serbia and Switzerland – or a Serbian victory – would leave second place contending for goal difference between Cameroon and one of the European sides.

Serbia: Serbia will progress only if they can beat Switzerland. However, should Cameroon also beat Brazil, second place will be contested on goal difference between Serbia and Cameroon.

A Brazilian soccer fan seen before the match between Brazil and Switzerland.

A Brazilian soccer fan seen before the match between Brazil and Switzerland. Photography: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Group H – Ghana, Portugal, South Korea, Uruguay

Finals Friday 2 December, 15:00 GMT: South Korea – Portugal, Ghana – Uruguay

Portugal they qualified.

Ghana: A win against Uruguay will put Ghana through. A draw will suffice unless South Korea beat Portugal, in which case Ghana must hope South Korea only wins one goal, otherwise the Asian team will overtake them on goal difference.

South Korea: They have to beat Portugal and hope Ghana don’t win. If Ghana draw, their hopes rest on goal difference over Ghana. If Ghana lose, South Korea’s hopes hinge on their goal difference over Uruguay.

Uruguay: Uruguay must win and hope South Korea doesn’t win against Portugal. If both Uruguay and South Korea win, their respective goal differences will decide who progresses. Uruguay start with a lower goal difference than South Korea, so they should beat Ghana more than South Korea beat Portugal.

South Korea's Hwang In-Beom during the match between South Korea and Ghana.

South Korea’s Hwang In-Beom during the match between South Korea and Ghana. Photography: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Group A – Netherlands winners, Senegal runners-up

Louis van Gaal’s side beat hosts Qatar 2-0 to secure top spot in Group A, while Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1 to secure second place ahead of their rivals.

Group B – England winners, USA second

England’s 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday ensured top spot and Sunday’s meeting with Senegal in the round of 16. The United States beat Iran with a 1-0 victory and will face the Netherlands in their opening round of 16 on Saturday.

Group C – Argentina winners, Poland runners-up

Argentina’s 2-0 win over lackluster Poland saw them top the group, with the Poles also progressing as neither Saudi Arabia nor Mexico could find the results they needed.

Group D – France winners, Australia runners-up

France remained top of the standings despite a sensational defeat by Tunisia, while Australia’s second win in Qatar propelled them into second place and into the second round at the expense of Denmark.

Last 16 games confirmed:

Netherlands v USA (Saturday, 15:00 GMT) Khalifa Stadium
Argentina v Australia (Saturday, 19:00 GMT) Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
France v Poland (Sunday, 3pm GMT)
Al Thumama Stadium
England-Senegal (Sunday, 19:00 GMT)
Al Bayt Stadium

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