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USMNT World Group Championship scenarios: what does the USA need to reach the 1/8 finals?

The Athletic

In Friday’s first game, Iran beat Wales 2-0 after sensational late goals from Rosebeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezayan at Al Rayyan Stadium.

Iran had a better chance, hitting the woodwork a few times, but luck seemed to favor the Welsh despite a belated red card from Wayne Hennessy. However, Cheshmi’s kick in the 99th minute from outside the penalty area gave Iran a well-known victory, and then Rezayan completed the counterattack.

While England and the US need a little more value – more on that later – the result made it clear what USMNT needs to do if they want to avoid the group stage.

USMNT has successfully qualified for the playoffs in six of the 10 World Cup tournaments it has qualified for.

Will they win if they beat England?

Not quite, but almost. This would put the USMNT on four points, England on three points, Iran on three points and Wales on one point.

Group B if USMNT wins

Team Tue D l points

United States

one

one

0

four

England

one

0

one

3

Iran

one

0

one

3

Wales

0

one

one

one

USMNT will play Iran in their last group game and a point in this match will guarantee progress and a win will see them win the group. England will play Wales in the group final.

However, if Iran beats USMNT, Gregg Berhalter’s team will be knocked out if England beat Wales.

What about a draw?

This makes the situation quite drastic. England will have four points, Iran three, USMNT two points and Wales only one.

Group B in case of draw USMNT

Team Tue D l points

England

one

one

0

four

Iran

one

0

one

3

USMNT

0

2

0

2

Wales

0

one

one

one

To put it simply, a victory over Iran will be held by the USMNT, although whether it will be the group winner depends on the result of England against Wales.

However, any other result will result in the American team being relegated.

USMNT suffered losses?

This is where it gets more difficult. Their fate will be taken from their hands.

Group B if USMNT loses

Team Tue D l points

England

2

0

0

6

Iran

one

0

one

3

USMNT

0

one

one

one

Wales

0

one

one

one

England would emerge as group winners with six points, Iran with three points and Wales and USMNT with one point each.

The USMNT needs to defeat Iran and then hope that Wales cannot defeat England. If Wales did beat England, the USMNT would require their goal difference (goals scored minus goals conceded) to be better than Wales’ as both teams would be tied on four points.

Who could play USMNT in knockouts?

They will play one of the teams in Group A, which includes host countries Qatar, the Netherlands, Ecuador and Senegal.

If USMNT finishes second, their most likely opponent will be the Netherlands. They lost four out of five games to the Dutch, but last won 4-3 in 2015.

If USMNT wins the group, the most likely opponents will be Ecuador or Senegal, who will play in the final round of group games on Tuesday to determine progress. They won five, drew five and lost five to Ecuador but never played Senegal.

What is the history of England against USMNT in the World Cup?

England did not enter their first World Cup until 1950 and their first game in the tournament was against the United States, who entered the match in Belo Horizonte as huge underdogs.

However, a goal by USMNT striker Joe Gaethjens in the 38th minute gave his team a notable victory and sent England to elimination in the group stage.

England lost only once to the United States – in a friendly match in 1993 – but faced them again in the 2010 World Cup. Although Steven Gerrard quickly put England ahead, a mistake by Rob Green allowed Clint Dempsey to equalize. USMNT will win the group.

Athletic Oli Kay explored the rivalry in more detail here.

(Photo: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Written by khirou

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