England players after the USA game
Drawing with the USA meant England missed out on the chance to progress with a game to spare
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

England are on the verge of reaching the knockout stage of the World Cup, but Wales face an uphill battle in their quest to make the last 16.

A 2-0 defeat by Iran means Wales will need to beat England on Tuesday, and hope results go their way, if they are to progress on their first World Cup appearance since 1958.

England’s drab goalless draw with the United States saw them miss the chance to wrap up qualification, but Gareth Southgate’s side will go through regardless if they avoid a four-goal defeat by Wales.

The group winner will play their second-round knock-out game at 19:00 GMT on Sunday, 4 December, while the group runner-up will play at 15:00 GMT on Saturday, 3 December.

France’s 2-1 win over Denmark saw them become the first team to book their place in the last 16, before Brazil joined them by beating Switzerland 1-0.

Portugal have also secured their qualification after beating Uruguay 2-0 on Monday.

Meanwhile, hosts Qatar and Canada have already been knocked out after back-to-back defeats.

As we approach the business end of the group stage, we take a look at how it stands.

Group A

Group A standings

There was heartache for Qatar on Friday as the hosts became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament.

After losing 3-1 to Senegal, a 1-1 draw between the Netherlands and Ecuador condemned Qatar to an early exit. It is the earliest a host nation has been knocked out of the World Cup.

The draw between the Dutch and Ecuador leaves just a point between the top three heading into the final Group A games on Tuesday.

Three-time finalists the Netherlands and Ecuador know a draw against Qatar and Senegal respectively will see them through to the last 16.

Group B

Group B standings

England missed the chance to seal a last-16 spot with a game to spare as they were held to a scoreless draw by the United States.

It means that all four teams still have a chance of reaching the next round going into the final group games.

England are in the strongest position with four points from two games and Southgate’s side will advance if they avoid a four-goal defeat by Wales on Tuesday.

A win would guarantee England top spot, but they can still draw and finish top unless Iran beat the United States, or the Americans win by at least four goals.

England will also finish top if Iran and the USA draw and they don’t lose to Wales by four or more goals.

Wales still have a chance of reaching the last 16 despite losing to Iran on Friday. To qualify, Wales must beat England and hope for a draw between the United States and Iran.

If the USA-Iran match does not end in a draw, Wales must beat England by four goals to advance.

The United States must win to progress, while Iran will go through with a draw unless Wales beat England.

Group C

Group C

Poland and Argentina are the top two in the group following 2-0 wins over Saudi Arabia and Mexico respectively on Saturday.

But those two meet in Wednesday’s group decider, meaning there is a decent chance either Lionel Messi or Robert Lewandowski go out.

Poland would be guaranteed progression with a draw, while Argentina will go through if they win. Both sides will go through if both games are drawn.

Saudi Arabia will secure their shock entry to the knockout stages if they beat Mexico.

Mexico need to beat the Saudis to have any hope of going through. They would be through if both they and Poland win. Any other result in the other game would probably mean the Mexicans would need to win by a few.

Group D

Group D

Kylian Mbappe scored twice to see France beat Denmark 2-1 and seal their place in the knockout stage.

A draw in their final qualifying game against Tunisia on Wednesday will also seal top spot.

Any of the other three teams could qualify along with Les Bleus.

Australia will be through if they beat Denmark, but a draw would allow Tunisia to claim second spot if they upset France. Denmark have to win to have any chance of going through.

If Denmark and Tunisia both win their games, the team to progress will be decided by goal difference or the other criteria mentioned below.

Group E

Group E

All four teams in Group E can still progress after Germany fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Spain on Sunday.

The last matches in this section take place at 19:00 GMT on Thursday with Costa Rica playing Germany and Japan facing Spain.

Spain will win the group with a victory or a draw – as long as the other match also ends in a draw or a Germany win.

If Spain were to lose, Japan would win the group and the Spanish could still be eliminated. For that to happen, Luis Enrique’s side would need to lose and Costa Rica beat Germany, or for Germany to win and overturn a goal difference currently eight worse than Spain’s.

Japan will also finish in the top two if both matches end in a draw.

Costa Rica will be through if they beat Germany and will be group winners if Spain also draw with Japan. A draw for Costa Rica will only be enough to qualify if Spain beat Japan.

Germany are bottom but will qualify as runners-up if they win and Japan lose. If Japan draw, Germany may need to win by two goals as their goal difference is currently one worse than Japan’s.

Group F

Andrej Kramaric

Canada scored their first-ever World Cup goal on Sunday but it was only fleeting joy as Croatia hit back, scoring four times to put them out of the running for the last 16.

That leaves Croatia top of Group F on goal difference, knowing they will ensure qualification if they avoid defeat to Belgium. They will also seal top spot if they match Morocco’s result and maintain their superior goal difference.

Morocco will be through if they win or draw their final group game against Canada.

Belgium will qualify with victory against Croatia. A draw will only be enough if Morocco lose to Canada, with goal difference deciding the order in which they go through.

The final games are played at 19:00 GMT on Thursday 1 December.

Group G

Group G standings

Five-time winners Brazil secured their place in the World Cup knockout stages after Casemiro struck seven minutes from time to seal a 1-0 win over Switzerland on Monday.

Tite’s side require one point from their final game against Cameroon to clinch top spot when the final two Group G matches take place at 19:00 on Friday, 2 December.

Any of the other three teams could join Brazil in the last 16.

Second-placed Switzerland must beat Serbia to guarantee their progress, while a point would be enough if Cameroon fail to beat Brazil.

Serbia and Cameroon both need to win their respective games to keep alive their qualification hopes.

Should both sides manage to get the win they need, Cameroon have a slight advantage with a marginally better goal difference.

Group H

Group H

Portugal have joined France and Brazil in booking their place in the knockout stages with a game to spare thanks to a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday.

They need just a point when they take on South Korea on Friday at 15:00 GMT to guarantee top spot in the group.

Second-placed Ghana will progress to the last 16 by beating Uruguay. A draw will also suffice as long as South Korea do not beat Portugal by two goals or more.

In the event that Portugal lose and Ghana win, top spot will be decided on goal difference and goals scored.

South Korea’s have two routes to making it to the next round in Qatar, which both rely on them beating Portugal.

If Ghana and Uruguay draw, South Korea will need to beat Portugal by two clear goals to advance.

If Uruguay and South Korea both win then it come down to goal difference – and possibly goals scored – with the Asian side holding a one-goal advantage.

Uruguay‘s simplest path to the last 16 is to defeat Ghana in their final match and hope that South Korea fail to beat Portugal.

How is qualification decided?

If teams are level on points after the three group games, progress is decided by goal difference. The full tie-breaker criteria is:

  1. Points accrued
  2. Goal difference
  3. Goals scored
  4. Head-to-head results
  5. Fair play: the team that has accumulated the fewest indiscipline points wins (a yellow card equals one point, a red card shown for two yellows equals three points, a direct red card equals four points and a direct red card shown to a player who was already on a yellow equals five points)
  6. Lots drawn

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