Following up on our earlier posts, we now have charts laying out World Cup advancement scenarios for each team in every group.

First, a quick refresher on how teams advance. The two teams with the most points in each group make it to the Round of 16. If teams are level on points, the first tiebreaker is goal differential. The next tiebreaker is goals scored. If that number is the same, then the result of the head-to-head match is determinative. If the head-to-head game ended in a draw, then finally, lots are drawn. In the charts below, the axes refer to the goal differential in the teams' final games.

Let's get to the groups.

Update: As requested, we've updated the charts to highlight the square things actually ended on.


Group A

Group A finished up yesterday. Brazil won the group with seven points and a better goal differential than Mexico, which finished second.


Group B

Group B also wrapped up yesterday, with the Netherlands taking the full nine points and Chile coming in second with six. In the knockout round, Brazil will play Chile and the Netherlands will face Mexico.

Group C

TeamPointsGoal DifferentialGoals ForGoals Against
Ivory Coast3033


Colombia are already into the next round and have a firm grasp on first place in the group—their goal difference right now is four better than their only rivals for winning the group—so let's focus on the other three teams, each of which could still advance. Today, Ivory Coast play Greece and Japan play Colombia.

Ivory Coast

If Ivory Coast win, they make it through. If they draw the Greeks, they need the Japanese to lose or draw against the Colombians (unless Japan win by one, in which case it goes to the tiebreakers). And if they lose, they are out.



Japan are probably safe with a win. The only way they aren't guaranteed a spot in the next round if they beat Colombia is if Greece beat Ivory Coast by two more goals than Japan's winning margin. However, either a draw or a loss and Japan are out.


Greece advance only with a win. Not only that, but they need Colombia either to beat or to tie Japan, or they need Japan to win by a slim margin while they smash Ivory Coast.


Group D

We don't need a chart here. It's simple: Costa Rica are in to the next round (yep, not a typo), and the result of Italy-Uruguay will determine which one joins them. Uruguay must win to advance. If Italy win or draw, they advance. That's all there is to it.

Group E

TeamPointsGoal DifferentialGoals ForGoals Against


Everyone is still alive here, though France are pretty much assured a spot in the final 16. On Wednesday, Honduras play Switzerland and Ecuador play France.


The only way France don't make it out is if they get hammered by Ecuador and Switzerland hammer Honduras. There'd have to be an eight-goal swing for things to get to the goals-scored tiebreaker.



In most scenarios, Ecuador get in with a win, though not if Switzerland win by two or more goals more than however much Ecuador win by. They can also get in with a draw as long as the Swiss draw or lose.


The Swiss have a good shot to make it into the next round, since they play the weakest team in the group while their rivals, Ecuador, play the strongest. If Switzerland win and France beat or draw Ecuador, they go through. They can also make it with a tie as long as France win.



Honduras, with its -4 goal differential, has only a tiny shot at surviving. Not only must they win, but the Hondurans need at least a four-goal swing between the France match and their own to get into the tiebreakers, with a five-goal margin being enough to ensure qualification.

Group F

TeamPointsGoal DifferentialGoals ForGoals Against


This group is pretty simple. Argentina are already through and Bosnia-Herzegovina are out. Both Nigeria and Iran still have a shot at getting into the next round, with Nigeria having the advantage. On Wednesday, Iran play Bosnia-Herzegovina; Nigeria play Argentina.


The only way Nigeria don't make it through is if Iran beat Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Nigerians lose to Argentina. In any other scenario, they make it in.



Likewise, the only way Iran get through is if they beat Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria lose. There is a chance, though, that if Nigeria lose 1-0 and Iran win 1-0, the two teams would be tied on goal difference and goals for, and since they drew their head-to-head matchup, lots would be drawn to determine who gets through.

Group G

TeamPointsGoal DifferentialGoals ForGoals Against
United States4143


The most important group, as far as you're concerned. On Thursday, the U.S. take on Germany while Ghana play Portugal.


Germany aren't technically through yet, but ... yeah, they're through. Either a win or a draw against the U.S. is itself enough to send them into the next round at the top of the group. The only way they don't make it is if they get plastered by the U.S. and/or either Ghana or Portugal win big. Portugal need an eight-goal swing on goal difference to pip Germany, while Ghana need five goals to make up the difference.



We've already laid out our advancement scenarios. As a quick overview, either a win or a draw and we're in. If we lose, we should hope either the other game is a draw or that Portugal barely win.


First and foremost, Ghana can advance only with a win against Portugal. But they also need help from the other game, hoping either the U.S. lose (more likely scenario) or win big (less likely to happen). Pretty much any win against Portugal coupled with an American loss will get Ghana through, though if both games are decided by a one-goal margin, it would go to the tiebreakers. Their other shot of going through is by beating Germany to the second qualifying spot should the U.S. win sizably while Ghana also win by multiple goals—enough to make up their five-goal differential compared with Germany.



Portugal are also in a win-or-go-home situation. As with Ghana, the Portuguese don't control their destiny and will need help from the other game. Unlike with Ghana, it won't be enough to win while the U.S. lose. They are behind the U.S. by five in goal difference and will need to make that margin up in their own game and in the other one. Their other path to qualification involves a win against Ghana and a U.S. victory, where the two scorelines combine to erase the eight-goal differential between Portugal and Germany.

Group H

TeamPointsGoal DifferentialGoals ForGoals Against
South Korea1-235


Another straightforward one. Belgium are already in to the next round, and the other three teams are still alive as well. Belgium are the likely group winners, unless they lose and Algeria win by enough to erase the goal difference. On Thursday, Belgium play South Korea and Algeria play Russia.


If Algeria win, they are in. In most cases, a draw will also be enough for qualification, unless South Korea beat Belgium by three or more goals. A loss, though, and they are out.



The Russians must win to advance, and a win will likely do the trick. The only thing that would prevent a Russian win from sending them through would be South Korea beating Belgium by one goal more than the Russians' winning margin.

South Korea

South Korea have only a slim chance at playing past this week. Their only hope is for Russia to draw or win, and for them to beat Belgium by enough goals to make up the goal difference against either Russia or Algeria.


Charts by Reuben Fischer-Baum