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SOCCER WC 18 – Match Day 2 Review

Having completed match day 2 some groups have been clearly decided while others are still wide open, with some powerhouses (Argentina, Germany, Brazil) still fighting for survival.

Group A

Russia and Uruguay are through, not unexpected although Egypt with super star Salah was given an outside chance before the tournament. But they and Saudi Arabia will head home.

Group B

Favourites Spain and Portugal are in the driver’s seat. The only thing to create an upset would be a surprise Iranian win against Portugal in the last game. Although Morocco is eliminated, an unlikely win against Spain with an Iranian result against Portugal could give Spain a problem.

Group C

France is through and Denmark is in good position to advance as well. Australia is alive and needs a win against Peru coupled with a Denmark loss to France to have a chance to move on by virtue of goal difference.

Group D

Croatia is assured of a spot in the round of 16. After that it gets messy (or Messi?). Nigeria will advance with a win over Argentina. Argentina must win and hope that Iceland doesn’t pull off an upset over Croatia. Iceland still has a chance but must beat Croatia and hope for an Argentine win or tie.

Group E

The only thing we know for sure is that Costa Rica is eliminated. Brazil and Switzerland are leading the group with Serbia trailing by a point. As long as Brazil (v. Serbia) and Switzerland (v. Costa Rica) don’t lose their last game they advance. A Serbian win against Brazil will put Serbia through and likely knock Brazil out. A Switzerland loss to Costa Rica and a Serbia tie will put them on 4 points each and bring goal difference into play.

Group F

The only group in which everyone is still alive, even Korea with zero points. Mexico (v. Sweden) needs a tie to guarantee advancement. Germany needs to beat Korea by two goals to guarantee advancement. Sweden needs to beat Mexico by a bigger goal difference than Germany beats Korea to advance. That would knock Mexico out. Korea can advance with a win against Germany and a Sweden loss to Mexico.

Group G

Belgium and England are Through, Panama and Tunisia are out.

Group H

The only certainty is that Poland has been eliminated. Anyone of Senegal (v. Columbia), Columbia, or Japan (v. Poland) winning will advance.

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