Iran’s 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday lifted one team, damaged another and brought clarity to what the United States must do to break out of Group B.
The United States and England meet in Friday’s late game. On Tuesday, in the final matches of the group stage, England will play against Wales and the United States against Iran.
Only two of the four teams can continue. If teams are tied on points in the group standings, the first tiebreak will be goal difference – the difference between goals scored and goals allowed in the three group matches. The second tiebreak is goals. After that it gets even more complicated.
Here’s a look at what the United States must do to advance to the Round of 16.
If the United States beat England:
The standings would be: United States 4, England and Iran 3, Wales 1.
The Americans would advance if they win or draw against Iran.
If the United States lose to Iran, it would be eliminated if England beat Wales. If Wales beat or draw England, the group will go into tiebreaks.
If the United States bind England:
The standings would be: England 4, Iran 3, United States 2, Wales 1.
The Americans would advance in a victory against Iran. They would be eliminated by a draw or a loss.
If the United States loses to England:
The standings would be: England 6, Iran 3, United States and Wales 1.
If the United States then beats Iran, it would advance if England beats or draws Wales. If Wales wins, the group will go into tiebreaks.
The Americans would be eliminated with a tie or loss to Iran.