What results do Argentina & Lionel Messi need to qualify for World Cup last 16?

Lionel-Messi(C)Getty Images

Argentina were not just one of the favourites to top Group C heading into the World Cup, they were also one of the teams to beat in Qatar altogether following their recent Copa America and Finalissima successes.

That all changed rapidly in their opening game against Saudi Arabia, however.

A Lionel Messi penalty gave them a first-half lead, but they collapsed after the break and were beaten 2-1 in the end.

That made their second match versus Mexico a must-win encounter, and they duly obliged as Messi took his team by the hand and led them to a 2-0 victory.

What result do Argentina need to reach round of 16?

Those results mean it's now all about their final group game against Poland and things could still go either way. What's the current situation in Group C exactly heading into Wednesday's game, though?

Group C table

PositionTeamGamesPointsForAgainstGoal diff.
3Saudi Arabia2323-1

Group C fixtures

DateKickoff (local time)Fixture
November 3022:00Poland vs Argentina
November 3022:00Saudi Arabia vs Mexico

What happens if Argentina win?

A win will see Argentina leapfrog Poland in the table and secure their ticket for the round of 16.

Whether they will finish first or second depends on the result of Saudi Arabia's game, as their matchday 1 opponents will also finish on six points if they beat Mexico, which would mean goal difference decides who tops the group.

What happens if Argentina draw?

A draw would mean Argentina come second in the group at best as Poland will finish ahead of them.

It then all comes down to Saudi Arabia's clash with Mexico. If Saudi Arabia win, Argentina are out. If they draw, Argentina are through. If Mexico win, it will come down to goal difference again.

What happens if Argentina lose?

A Polish win would prematurely end Messi's dream of lifting the World Cup.

Poland would then top the group, with the winner of the other game in the section accompanying them. For Saudi Arabia, even a draw would suffice in that scenario.

Who could Argentina face in the last 16?

The winner of Group C will face the runner-up of Group D in the knockout stages. As things stand, that's Australia, but every team in the group still has a chance. France seem destined to top the group, having already sealed progress after two wins, but Denmark and Tunisia will still fancy their chances.

If Argentina were to finish second in their group, they will likely meet France in the next round, although there's still a small chance Australia will finish first if all results go their way on matchday three.

What will be the date & venue for Argentina's last-16 tie?

If Argentina win Group C, their last-16 fixture will take place at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on December 3.

Should they finish runners-up, the game would take place at the Al Thumama Stadium a day later.

Where should Lionel Messi play next season?

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Where should Lionel Messi play next season?

  • 6%PSG
  • 58%Barcelona
  • 7%Inter Miami
  • 19%Saudi Arabia
  • 9%Other
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