Bale’s hopes of making it to the round of 16 stages hang by a thread.

Gareth Bale’s Wales have had a difficult time in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022. They are not a star-studded squad but with a few world-class talents in there, people expected better.

Wales kicked off their FIFA World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against the USA. They followed it up with a 2-0 defeat against Iran. They were the favourites against Iran, but Wayne Hennessey’s 86th-minute red card shifted the momentum in the Asian side’s favor. Iran followed it up with two goals in injury time. Rob Page’s side were forced to leave the stadium disappointed.

The Dragons are at the bottom of Group B with one point from two matches. While it looks highly unlikely that they can make it to the knockout rounds, there is a possibility and it all depends on the last round of fixtures of Group B.

Bale’s team will go up against England in their final fixture on 30th November at 12:30 AM IST. A win is a must for them to go ahead in the tournament. Unfortunately for the fans, only a win might not be enough, they might need a few more things to go in their favor.

The criteria

The qualification will be decided on the basis of:

– Points accrued

– Goal difference

– Goals scored

– Head-to-head results

– Fair play: the team that has accumulated the fewest indiscipline points wins (a yellow card equals one point, a red card shown for two yellows equals three points, a direct red card equals four points and a direct red card shown to a player who was already on a yellow equals five points).

– Lots drawn.

How can England Qualify?

The Three Lions can make it to the knockout round with a win or a draw against Wales in their final fixture. But, for them to finish top in their group they need a win. If they fail to win, Iran will have an opportunity to go top of the group with a win against the USA. 

The fact that England have a +4 goal difference ensures the fact that it is highly unlikely that they don’t make it to the knockouts.

How can Wales qualify?

Wales have a very difficult task at hand. They need to defeat England in their final fixture and hope that Iran vs USA game ends in a draw. Both the teams (Wales and Iran) have a goal difference of -2 heading into their respective fixture. A win for Bale’s men will improve that figure and send them through.

The other scenario is where Wales can move above England in terms of goal difference and not worry about Iran vs USA fixture. For it to happen they need to thrash England 7-0 which is next to impossible. If Wales fail to win and either Iran or USA win, they will have to pack their bags and head back early from the tournament.

How will Iran be knocked out?

A defeat in their final fixture against the USA will see them head out of the tournament. Another scenario where they will be knocked out is, if USA vs Iran ends in a draw and Wales win against England.

A win against the USA will literally guarantee Iran a spot in the knockout rounds as they will finish with five points. Only England can go past them that too if they win. Iran will also go through if they draw against USA and England defeat Wales.

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How can USA Qualify?

The equation is pretty clear for the USA. Only a win can help them go through in this fixture. They need to ensure they defeat Iran and then hope Southgate’s men win against Wales. 

If Wales win against England, USA will have to better their goal difference (GD) as the two teams will be level in points.

Currently, Wales have a GD of -2, and USA have a GD of 0. If Wales win 3-0, USA will have to win 2-0, and so on. If both teams end up with the same goal difference then their qualification will be decided on the basis of goals scored. Heading into the final fixture both teams have scored just once.

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