Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Who's in and who's out at the World Cup

Published:Sunday | June 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
South Korea's Son Heung-min (left) consoles teammate Hwang Hee-chan at the end of the Group F match against Mexico yesterday. Mexico won 2-1.


Who's in, who's out and possible scenarios at the World Cup after a second straight day that ended with a comeback win in stoppage time:


Russia and Uruguay have clinched berths in the round of 16 and play each other Monday to determine who top the group. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been eliminated.


Morocco have been eliminated, leaving Portugal and Spain (four points each) and Iran (three) to compete for two spots. Spain play Morocco on Monday, when Portugal meet Iran.


France have advanced and lead with six points. Denmark are second with four after a 1-1 draw against Australia, who have one point. Peru have been eliminated. Denmark play France on Tuesday, when Australia take on Peru.


Croatia have secured a trip to the second round and top the group with six points. Nigeria (three points) will advance with a win over Argentina (one point) on Tuesday, when Iceland plays Croatia. But Iceland (one point) or the last-place Argentines could survive with a win and a Nigeria loss or tie, depending on goal differential.


Brazil and Switzerland have four points apiece, Serbia have three, and any of them could grab one of the group's two spots in the knockout stage. Serbia meet Brazil on Wednesday, likely needing a win. Switzerland play Costa Rica at the same time. Costa Rica have been eliminated.


Mexico avoided a letdown yesterday after upsetting Germany to start the tournament, handling South Korea by a 2-1 score. But Mexico (six points) are not safe yet. A dagger by Toni Kroos deep into extra time gave Germany (three points) a 2-1 win over Sweden (three points) in the late game. If the defending champions beat South Korea on Wednesday, and Sweden simultaneously top Mexico, three teams would finish with six points, sending it to tiebreakers that start with the best goal differential. On the other hand, if Mexico and South Korea win, Mexico would win the group and every other team would be tied.


Belgium's second straight emphatic win, a 5-2 drubbing of Tunisia yesterday, has them atop the group with six points and all but guaranteed to go to the next round. England (three points) can send themselves and Belgium through if they knock off Panama today, though Panama and technically even twice-beaten Tunisia are still alive.


All four teams have played one game each, with Japan and Senegal tied on three points. Both meet today, so there could be new group leaders. The other two teams in the group, Poland and Colombia, are yet to get off the mark. They clash at 1 p.m. today.