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What Iran win over Wales means for USA chances at qualifying for knockout stage

The USMNT has its work cut out for it following Iran’s upset of Wales.

Weston McKennie, Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams of United States train during the USA Training Session at Al Gharafa SC on November 24, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

Iran stunned Wales on Friday morning, scoring a pair of goals in second half stoppage time to win 2-0. Iran was an underdog in the match while sitting in last place in Group B. They come out of the match with a legitimate chance at advancing to the knockout stage of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Iran improves to 1-0-1 with the win and now has three points. They’re tied with England atop the Group B standings but England still has a match against the USA Friday afternoon. If England wins, they improve to six points and the US sits at one point. If the US wins, the Americans improve to four points while England would remain at three points. If the two teams draw, England would improve to four points and the US would improve to two points.

The USA faces Iran next Tuesday to close out group play. The USA can qualify for the knockout stage even if they lose to England on Friday. A loss or draw against England would require a win over Iran next week. A win would require a draw or win, although they could advance with a loss as well depending on goal differential and how Wales does against England.