The second matches of group stage play are starting Friday and this means we’re starting to get more clarity on which teams will be in the knockout round. Here’s a look at the knockout round qualification scenarios for the teams in Group A.
Qualified: Netherlands, Senegal
Update: Netherlands defeated Qatar and Senegal held on for a 2-1 win over Ecuador, which sends both winners to the knockout round. Netherlands will be A1 and Senegal will be A2. They will await the results of Group B to determine who they will play in the round of 16.
With Netherland and Ecuador drawing Friday, both teams are in a good spot heading into the final group game when it comes to qualification for the round of 16. Netherlands and Ecuador can both qualify as long as they draw against their respective opponents. If Netherlands win and Ecuador draw, Netherlands would be the top seed in the group and Ecuador would be the runners-up. The opposite would happen if Ecuador win and Netherlands draw.
If Netherlands lose, they can still get in as long as Ecuador win. If Ecuador and Senegal draw, it would come down to goal differential between Netherlands and Senegal for the final spot. If Senegal win, Senegal will advance to the knockout round. Qatar have officially been eliminated from the knockout round.
Here’s a condensed look at the paths for each team.
Netherlands win or draw: Qualify for knockout round
Netherlands loss: Qualify for knockout round if Ecuador win, tiebreakers in play if Ecuador-Senegal draw or Senegal win
Ecuador win or draw: Qualify for knockout round
Ecuador loss: Eliminated if Netherlands win or draw, tiebreakers in play if Netherlands lose
Senegal win: Qualify for knockout round
Senegal draw: Eliminated if Netherlands win or draw, tiebreakers in play if Netherlands lose
Senegal loss: Eliminated from knockout round