Probably three points became one for them United States on Monday night with a 1-1 draw against Walesthere are a number of scenarios that will determine whether the team has a medium or long-term future at the 2022 World Cup.
England‘s overwhelming victory over Iran has given the Three Lions control of Group B but things can change quickly. And with everything still to be played, the weird and wonderful world of sports statistics makes it possible that the USA could miss out on qualifying by five points – or make it with just two.
Here we break down all the outcomes and obstacles as Gregg Berhalter’s tenacious American squad tries to find a way through the minefield. So get ready to keep an eye on the scoreboard – and that all-important goal difference.
Regardless of the combination of results on Friday, when the USA take on England hours after the Wales-Iran game, it will of course determine what everyone needs to do to progress after game three.
Group B permutations and scenarios:
If the US beats England and Wales Iran: The US would then be guaranteed a win or a draw against Iran. A loss to Iran would eliminate the USA UNLESS Wales lose to England AND finish behind the Americans on goal difference.
If USA beat England vs Wales/Iran tie: A win or a draw against Iran would guarantee the US progress. If they lose to Iran, they’re guaranteed to go into a two-way or three-way tiebreak no matter what happens in England-Wales.
When the US beats England and Iran beats Wales: The US would definitely go through with a win or a draw against Iran. The US would be eliminated by losing to Iran, but only if England beat Wales. If the US lose to Iran and England-Wales draws or Wales wins, the US will be in a tiebreak for second place.
When the US draws level with England and Wales beats Iran: The US would be automatically eliminated if they failed to defeat Iran. If it beats Iran and there is a winner in the England-Wales game, the US would move up to second place. If it beats Iran and there is a tie between England and Wales, there would be a three-way tiebreaker to decide the group.
If USA are tied with England and Wales/Iran: The US would be automatically eliminated with a loss to Iran and would be guaranteed to qualify with a win. If the US draws level with Iran, they would advance if England beats Wales but would be eliminated if Wales beat England. If both USA-Iran and England-Wales are tied, second place will be decided between USA and Wales, the decision will be made in the tie-break starting on goal difference.
If the US beats Wales with England and Iran: The US would advance with a victory over Iran and be eliminated with any other result.
If USA lose to England and Wales beat Iran: The US would be automatically eliminated if they failed to defeat Iran. If they beat Iran, they’re still eliminated if Wales avoid defeat by England. If it beats Iran and England Wales, second place would be determined by the tiebreaker system, starting on goal difference.
If USA lose to England and a draw between Wales and Iran: The US would be eliminated with a defeat by Iran. The US would progress with a win against Iran UNLESS Wales beat England. If the US draw level with Iran, they could potentially go further, but only if Wales lose to England via a three-way tie-break for second place.
If USA loses to England and Iran beats Wales: The US would be automatically eliminated if they failed to defeat Iran. If it beat Iran it would go through UNLESS Wales beat England AND finish on goal difference.
U.S. forward Timothy Weah celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Group B football match of the Qatar World Cup 2022 between the USA and Wales scored. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD
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