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How Iran, Wales can qualify for the knockout round at 2022 World Cup

Here’s what Iran and Wales need to do to make it to the round of 16.

Gareth Bale of Wales appeals to referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim with Walker Zimmermann, Tyler Adams, Kellyn Acosta of USA and Ben Davies of Wales also arguing during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between USA and Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

UPDATE: Well, this certainly went a different way. Iran stunned Wales 2-0 with two goals in second half stoppage time and now finds themselves in the driver's seat for a chance to advance to the knockout stage. The USA-England match will determine what Iran needs to advance. If the US loses, Iran can asvance with a draw next Tuesday coupled with Wales losing or drawing England. If the US wins, Iran would need a win over the US next week. Wales needs a win over England and help to advance to the knockout stage.

The second round of group stage competition gets going on Friday and Wales opens with a match against Iran at 5 a.m. ET. Wales is listed at +120 to win the match at DraftKings Sportsbook, Iran is +265, and a draw is +220.

Wales comes into the match having secured a draw against the United States with a penalty shot goal in the 82nd minute. The US controlled the first half and looked like they would leave with three points, but Walker Zimmerman fouled Gareth Bale in the box and set up the equalizer.

Wales is tied with the US heading into the match against Iran, while the US will face England later in the day at 2 p.m. ET. If Wales does what’s expected and beats Iran, they’ll await the US result against England to figure out what happens next.

The US is a +550 underdog against England and odds are +350 for a draw. Wales will likely face fairly similar odds for their match next Tuesday against England. The US will probably be a slightly stronger favorite against Iran next week, but not too much.

It’s possible Iran upsets or at least ties one of these or the US or Wales win or tie against England. The most likely scenario, however, is both teams beat Iran and both teams lose England. If that happens, they’ll finished tied at 1-1-1 in Group B standings and it will go to tiebreakers.

The group stage tiebreakers start with goal differential. This will come down to how badly Wales and the US can potentially beat Iran vs. how badly they potentially lose to England. If they’re tied in goal differential, the second tiebreaker is greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the tied teams.

We’ll update this following the Wales-Iran match and what it means heading into this afternoon’s USA-England match.