The second round of games in the World Cup group stage is now underway. Find out what each nation has to do to qualify for the knockout stage ahead of the final round of matches.
Already qualified: Russia, Uruguay, France, Croatia, Belgium, England
Already eliminated: Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Panama, Poland
If two or more teams are level on points, they are separated using this tiebreaker system
1. Goal difference
2. Goals scored
3. Head-to-head points
4. Head-to-head goal difference
5. Head-to-head goals scored
6. Fair play points
7. Drawing of lots
FAIR PLAY SCORING SYSTEM
Yellow card: -1
Red card for two cautions: -3
Straight red card: -4
Yellow card and straight red card: -5
– Russia are through and will top the group if they avoid defeat vs. Uruguay.
– Uruguay are through but must beat hosts Russia to top the group.
– Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been eliminated.
– Portugal need a point against Iran to qualify. Can qualify with a defeat if Spain lose by a bigger margin.
– Spain need a point against Morocco to qualify. Can qualify with a defeat if Portugal lose by a bigger margin, or if Iran/Portugal is a low-scoring draw and Spain lose by no more than one goal.
– If both Portugal and Spain lose, the team with the worse result would finish third. If both Portugal and Spain win, the team with the biggest victory would finish top. Spain and Portugal currently have identical records and are separated by disciplinary records (yellow/red cards). If this finishes level too they will draw lots for group position.
– Current yellow cards: Portugal 2, Spain 1
– Iran must beat Portugal to qualify, and could finish top if Spain lose.
– Morocco have been eliminated.
– France have qualified and need a point against Denmark to top the group.
– Denmark need a point to qualify and will top the group with a win vs. France. They will also qualify with a defeat if Australia fail to beat Peru.
– Australia must beat Peru and hope Denmark lose, and top the Danes on goal difference.
– Peru have been eliminated.
– Croatia have qualified and need a point vs. Iceland to top the group, although superior goal difference means they are almost certain of first place.
– Nigeria must beat Argentina to be guaranteed going through, although a point will be good enough if Iceland do not beat Croatia.
– Argentina have to beat Nigeria and hope Iceland do not win to definitely qualify. If both Argentina and Iceland win, then Argentina must do so by a greater margin as their goal difference is one worse than Iceland’s. If the two teams finish with identical records, they drew with each other so are then separated by disciplinary records (yellow/red cards) and then drawing of lots for second place.
– Iceland must beat Croatia and hope Nigeria do not beat Argentina. If Nigeria draw, then Iceland must win by at least two goals to match goal difference, and if records are identical, Nigeria would then go through on head-to-head. If Argentina win then Iceland must do so by the same margin or greater to guarantee finishing second.
– Current yellow cards: Argentina 3, Iceland 0
– Brazil need a point against Serbia to guarantee their place, and will also go through in second with a defeat if Switzerland also lose by the same margin or greater.
– Switzerland need a point against Costa Rica to secure their place but will also go through with a defeat if Serbia lose to Brazil. Should Switzerland lose by one goal and Serbia draw, it will go to goals scored. If the teams finish with identical records, then Switzerland would go through on head-to-head. If Switzerland are beaten by two goals, they can qualify only if Serbia lose.
– If both Brazil and Switzerland win or lose, they might need to be separated by disciplinary record or drawing of lots for top spot or second as the head-to-head is 1-1. This would happen, for instance, if Brazil won 2-1 and Switzerland won 2-0 for top spot, or for second position if Brazil lost 2-0 and Switzerland lost 1-0.
– Current yellow cards: Brazil 3, Switzerland 4
– Serbia will definitely qualify with a win, and could go through with a draw as noted.
– Costa Rica have been eliminated.
– Mexico need a point vs. Sweden to go through and top the group. They are definitely through with a defeat if Germany fail to win.
– Sweden are guaranteed to qualify if they win or better Germany’s result. If they beat Mexico and Germany fail to win, Sweden will top the group.
– Germany must win by two or more goals or better Sweden’s result to guarantee qualifying.
– If both Germany and Sweden draw, the team in the higher-scoring game will finish second. If both draws are the same scoreline, Germany finish second on head-to-head.
– South Korea must beat Germany and hope Sweden lose to Mexico to have a chance of qualifying.
THREE-WAY TIE FOR FIRST AND SECOND
– If Sweden and Germany win, they will finish level on six points with Mexico, and it will first come down to goal difference.
– Sweden are guaranteed to qualify in all scenarios.
– Germany are guaranteed to qualify if they win by two goals.
– Mexico can only qualify if both games are won by one goal, and Mexico’s game is either higher scoring or both the same score one-goal margin apart from 1-0
– If Sweden win by two or more goals, they are through, and that would mean Germany are guaranteed to qualify with any win (Mexico out).
– If Germany win by two or more goals they are through, with Sweden through with any win (Mexico out).
– If both Germany and Sweden win 1-0, the three teams would have identical records and it would go to head-to-head mini-league, and this would see Germany and Sweden through on goals scored. Mexico would be out by virtue of scoring one fewer goal in games between the three countries. First and second would be decided on Fair Play and at present Sweden’s score is -3 and Germany’s -5, so Sweden would finish top. Obviously this could change on the final matchday.
– If both Germany and Sweden win 2-1, then Sweden would win the group on head-to-head goals scored (they would have three goals in games between the three countries to Germany and Mexico’s two). Second and third would be decided by Fair Play, and at present Mexico’s score is -2 and Germany’s -5 (Jerome Boateng’s red card worth -3 the difference). Each yellow card is worth -1 so Mexico would be through unless they have several players booked or someone sent off compared to Germany.
– If both Germany and Sweden win 3-2 (or any higher one-goal identical margin of victory), then Sweden would win the group with Mexico second and Germany third on head-to-head mini-league goals scored.
– The only other way Mexico can go through, at the expense of Germany, if is both games are won by one goal, but Mexico’s defeat against Sweden is a higher-scoring game.
– If Sweden win by one goal, and Germany win by one goal but in a higher-scoring game, Germany win the group with Sweden in second and Mexico out
THREE-WAY TIE FOR SECOND
– If South Korea win and Sweden lose there will be a three-way tie for second on three points for Germany, Sweden and South Korea. It will first come down to goal difference.
– If South Korea beat Germany by two goals, they are guaranteed to finish second
– If South Korea beat Germany 1-0 and Sweden lose 1-0 to Mexico, it will come down to Fair Play between Germany and Sweden with South Korea out on head-to-head goals scored. At present Sweden’s score is -3 and Germany’s -5, so Sweden best placed for second though that will change.
– If both games are won by the same one-goal margin other than 1-0, then Germany finish second on head-to-head goals scored.
– If South Korea beat Germany by a higher-scoring one-goal margin than Sweden lose to Mexico by, then South Korea would finish second on direct head-to-head against Germany with Sweden bottom.
– If Sweden lose to Mexico by a higher-scoring one-goal margin than South Korea beat Germany, then Sweden would finish second on goals scored.
– If Sweden lose by more than one goal, they cannot qualify, and South Korea would therefore finish second with any victory
– England are through and are only guaranteed to top the group if they beat Belgium.
– Belgium are through and are only guaranteed to top the group if they beat England.
– England (2 yellows) currently lead Belgium (3 yellows) on fair play. If they draw the final group game, first and second will be decided on this. If fair play also finishes level, the teams will draw lots for positions.
– Panama and Tunisia have been eliminated
– Japan need at least a point against Poland to qualify, and will definitely be through with a defeat if Colombia do not win. They will top the group if they better Senegal’s result.
– Senegal need a point against Colombia to qualify, and can only qualify with a defeat if Japan lose too. They will top the group if they better Japan’s result.
– Colombia must beat Senegal to guarantee going through. They will also qualify with a draw if Japan lose to Poland. They will top the group if they win and Japan do not.
– If both Japan and Senegal draw, both will be through and the team in the highest-scoring draw finishing top. If both draws are the same score, top spot will be decided first by Fair Play and then drawing of lots.
– If both Japan and Senegal win, both will be through and the team that wins by the biggest margin, or is in the highest-scoring win of the same margin, will finish top. If both wins are the same score, top spot will be decided first by Fair Play and then drawing of lots.
– If both Japan and Senegal lose then Colombia win the group. Second place will go to the team that loses by the smallest margin, or is in the highest-scoring defeat of the same margin. If both defeats are the same score, second place will be decided first by Fair Play and then drawing of lots.
– Fair Play is currently Japan -3, Senegal -5, so the Asian side has the edge at the moment.
– Poland have been eliminated
Round of 16: June 30 – July 3
Match 49: Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B (Sochi; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Match 50: Winner Group C vs. Runner-up Group D (Kazan; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Match 51: Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A (Moscow Luzhniki; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Match 52: Winner Group D vs. Runner-up Group C (Nizhny Novgorod; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Match 53: Winner Group E vs. Runner-up Group F (Samara; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Match 54: Winner Group G vs. Runner-up Group H (Rostov-on-Don; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Match 55: Winner Group F vs. Runner-up Group E (St. Petersburg; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Match 56: Winner Group H vs. Runner-up Group G (Moscow Spartak; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Quarterfinals: July 6-7
Match 57: Winner of Match 49 vs. Winner of Match 50 (Nizhny Novgorod; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Match 58: Winner of Match 53 vs. Winner of Match 54 (Kazan; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Match 59: Winner of Match 55 vs. Winner of Match 56 (Samara; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Match 60: Winner of Match 51 vs. Winner of Match 52 (Sochi; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Semifinals: July 10-11
Match 61: Winner of Match 57 vs. Winner of Match 58 (St. Petersburg; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Match 62: Winner of Match 59 vs. Winner of Match 60 (Moscow Luzhniki; 2 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. GMT)
Third-place game: July 14
Loser of Match 61 vs. Loser of Match 62 (St. Petersburg; 10 a.m. ET / 2 p.m. GMT)
Final: July 15
Winner of Match 61 vs. Winner of Match 62 (Moscow Luzhniki; 11 a.m. ET / 3 p.m. GMT)
Dale Johnson has been an editor and journalist at ESPN for 18 years. You can follow him on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.
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