World Cup round of 16: Group permutations

With the second set of matches over, Goal takes a look at which teams have qualified, which are going home and which are still battling to make the knockout stages

Despite being held by Mexico in their second match, Brazil are still in pole position heading into the final round of fixtures, knowing that a win over already-eliminated Cameroon would likely see them top Group A.

In order to stop that happening, Mexico must overcome their inferior goal difference by beating Croatia by two goals more than Luiz Felipe Scolari's men defeat the Indomitable Lions but they need only a point to qualify in second. 

Croatia are still masters of their own destiny but must beat Mexico to have any hope of advancing.


Qualification is already decided in Group B, with both Netherlands and Chile having won their first two matches, while Australia and world champions Spain remain pointless.

Monday's clash between Netherlands and Chile will decide who tops the group. Whoever wins is guaranteed to advance as winners, while a draw would suit Louis van Gaal's men, who boast a slightly better goal difference.

Spain versus Australia is a dead rubber, offering no more than a chance for both sides to garner a little pride before leaving Brazil.


Colombia have qualified from Group C with a match to spare and know that only a defeat to Japan and a four-goal swing in favour of Cote d'Ivoire could deny them top spot.

The Elephants must beat Greece to be entirely sure of progressing, though a draw would be enough if Colombia continue their 100 per cent winning record against Japan.

Only a win and a Cote d'Ivoire slip up would see Japan qualify, though a defeat for the Africans would be best for Alberto Zaccheroni's men as they have a slightly inferior goal difference.

Greece are still alive but face a tough task. They must defeat the Ivorians and hope that Japan do not beat Colombia as they have the worst goal difference in Group C.


Surprise packages Costa Rica go into their final match safe in the knowledge that their place in the knockout stages is already assured and, thanks to their goal difference, only a heavy defeat to an already-eliminated England could put their position as group leaders in serious jeopardy.

Group D's other match is far more interesting, where Uruguay take on Italy with everything on the line. Italy's slightly better goal difference means that a point would be enough for them but both teams know that a win would see them into the round of 16.

England are out and playing for pride against Costa Rica.


France took just two matches to book their place in the round of 16 in emphatic style, scoring eight goals, and their goal difference makes it impossible to see them finishing as anything less than group winners, regardless of their result against Ecuador at the Maracana on Wednesday.

This could work in the favour of the South Americans, who must match Switzerland's result against already-eliminated Honduras to go through as runners-up.

Ottmar Hitzfeld's men have paid the price for their heavy 5-2 defeat to France and their poor goal difference means that they must beat Honduras and hope for a favour in Group E's other match.


Group F is already clearly defined, with Argentina through after taking maximum points from their first two matches and Nigeria only a point away from joining them.

The two sides meet on Wednesday in Porto Alegre, with the Super Eagles needing a win to top the group and Alejandro Sabella's men needing a point to do the same. A draw would see both qualify.

Iran still harbour faint hopes of making the round of 16 but must beat already eliminated Bosnia-Herzegovina while hoping Argentina defeat Nigeria. There also needs to be a two-goal swing in goal-difference in the Asian side's favour.


Every team in Group G is still alive, though Germany and USA face each other in Recife on Thursday knowing that a draw would see both into the last 16.

Germany sit top of the group courtesy of a superior goal difference and know that, even in defeat, a considerable goal swing would be required to prevent them going through as runners-up at worst.

Both Ghana and Portugal will hope for a Germany win, as it would mean that a win in Brasilia on Thursday would give either a chance of overhauling USA in the race for second place, though Portugal's poor goal difference counts against them.


Belgium needed just two matches to qualify from the group stage of their first World Cup since 2002 and only an unikely combination of results could deny them top spot.

Algeria, in second, know that a point would likely see them qualify as runners-up but can still go through as winners if they beat Russia and Belgium lose to South Korea.

Russia remain masters of their own destiny but know that only a win against Algeria would see them advance, while South Korea need a handsome win against the group leaders and favours elsewhere to stay in the tournament.