The FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage is coming to a conclusion, with only the last round of matches left. Only Qatar and Canada have been mathematically eliminated from the Round 16 race while all other teams are still in contention, at least theoretically. In Group A, the battle for the two Round of 16 spots is wide open, with Netherlands, Ecuador, and Senegal still in the fray while the hosts Qatar were the first ones to drop out of the race.
Here’s a look at the qualification scenario of all three teams in contention:
Netherlands:Up against Qatar in their last match, Netherlands’ qualification is in their own hands. With 4 points to their name, the Dutch will enter the next round with a victory over the hosts. Even a draw would be enough for them to qualify as only one of Ecuador and Senegal can get to 5 or more points.
But, a loss would see Netherlands’ fate rest in the hands of the match between Ecuador and Senegal. If Netherlands lose to Qatar, they can still qualify for the knockouts if Ecuador beat Senegal. A defeat for Ecuador or a draw against Senegal would see the goal difference come into the picture if Netherlands lose to Qatar.
Ecuador:For the South Americans, the Round of 16 road is clear if they beat Senegal in the last match. If they lose, they would be out unless Qatar also go on to beat the Netherlands. In this case, goal difference would decide which side between Netherlands and Ecuador go through as the runner-up as Senegal would take the top spot.
A draw between Ecuador and Senegal would also see the South Americans qualify for the Round of 16.
Senegal:The Africans need at least a draw to remain in Round of 16 qualification contention. If they beat Ecuador, they will book a spot in the Round of 16, no matter the result between Netherlands and Qatar. A defeat would mean curtains for Senegal’s FIFA World Cup campaign.
In case of a draw against Ecuador, Senegal would need Qatar to beat Netherlands by a big margin.
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