More than half of the last 16 spots in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar have been filled, with only six more slots left for grabs for teams in Groups E, F, G and H. After tonight’s fixtures, four more places will be occupied and tears will be guaranteed, but whether or not tears of joy or pain will be shed are yet to be seen, as seven of those eight teams in Groups E and F are pretty much possible to be in the Round of 16. Here are some previews about tonight’s matches.
Group E’s a Dogfight
Costa Rica’s surprise win against Japan meant regardless of Germany’s performance against Spain in the second round of group fixtures, Nationalelf will still be able to qualify for the next round, and a superb Jamal Musiala display inspired the Germans to avoid a defeat to La Roja and blow the last 16 stage race wide-open.
Spain currently tops the group with 4 points after a win and a draw in their opening two games, while Japan and Costa Rica share 3 points each at the moment, with Germany being at the bottom with a single point. The finale of Group E will see Spain take on Japan and Germany plays Costa Rica. By calculations, the chances of qualification to the knockout round are alive for all four teams and tensions will be high going into those games. Germany is expected to beat their Central American opponent, but they will need their European peer Spain to beat Japan in their match. A draw from the Spain-Japan match would also be sufficient for Nationalelf, if and only if the German team can overcome their opposition with at least a 2-0 score line.
Canada’s Out, But Which Team Will Join It?
Only one of the three host nations in the 2026 FIFA World Cup is in the Round of 16 of the 2022 edition, with Mexico following Canada’s footstep of leaving the tournament early. This leaves the other three countries of Group F, including Croatia, Morocco and Belgium, two spots for the last 16 stage. Croatia is the provisional leader of Group F with 4 points, while Croatia is a close second with the same amount of points, trailing the Kockasti on goal differential only. Belgium is in the third place with a win and a loss.
Croatia will be going into their last group fixture with a heavyweight clash with the Die Roten Teufel, a match that will see the Golden Generation of both sides to battle it out for a spot in the Round of 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Unless Canada, which is already out of the next round, field a strong team and push Morocco to a draw or even causing a surprise win, the Atlas Lions are expected to beat their opponent with ease, which means Belgium would need to overcome the Croatian veterans in order to join Morocco in the knockout stage; Anything lesser than a win in that scenario will see Croatia go through to the next round instead. In other words, only one nation from the Croatia-Belgium match will make it.
One of Belgium and Croatia is going through and the other will bow out of the tournament. https://t.co/Jj6k97afFe
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 1, 2022
(Photo Credits: Goal)