Another round of the World Cup is done and dusted and we are starting to see the matchups of the last 16-rounds more and more clearly. Where round 1 was full of surprises, round 2 has been a lot more predictable and had huge impacts on how the 8 groups are now looking. Keep reading for a quick sum-up of the second round and how each teams chances for qualification are looking ahead of the next and final group stage round.
In the first group, Russia carried on their great form from the opening game by breaking Egypts dreams with a solid 3-1 win in which Salahs return was of little help. In the other game of the group, Uruguay also grabbed their second win of the tournament with a less convincing 1-0 result over Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless its already crystal clear that the hosts and the South American team are going to go through and the game between the two in round 3 will be a group final.
Russia Points: 6 Goal difference: 7
Uruguay Points: 6 Goal difference: 2
Egypt Points: 0 Goal difference: -3
Saudi Arabia Points: 0 Goal Difference: -6
In Group B the expectations to Spain and Portugal were high after the two clashed together in a thrilling 3-3 game in round 1. Sadly however, neither impressed much in game 2 as both grabbed each their 1-0 win over Iran and Morocco respectively. While Spain and Portugal still are the big favourites to advance, we cant rule out Iran as they are just 1 point behind the two and could grab one of the spots with a surprise result in their game against Portugal next round, something that is far from impossible judging from how the tournament has panned out so far.
Spain Points: 4 Goal difference: 1
Portugal Points: 4 Goal difference: 1
Iran Points: 3 Goal difference: 0
Morocco Points: 0 Goal Difference: -2
In the third group, France have already secured qualification as most people expected with their win over Peru, but the second spot could still be clinched by both Denmark and Australia. Denmark drew 1-1 with Australia in their second game of the tournament and will therefore have to produce at least one point against France in order to secure their qualification without depending on other results. If they fail to do so, Australia could draw level with them if they beat Peru and it would all come down to goal difference.
France Points: 6 Goal difference: 2
Denmark Points: 4 Goal difference: 1
Australia Points: 1 Goal difference: -1
Peru Points: 0 Goal Difference: -2
Group D has been ruled by Croatia so far, as theyve looked absolutely brilliant in their 2 first games. The 3-0 humiliation of Argentina came as a shock to the football world and secured their advance to the next round. The second qualification spot could still, in theory, be clinched by any of the 3 other teams in the group as Nigeria managed to overcome Iceland and grab all 3 points in their game. Nigeria are in the driving seat of the 3 with their 3 points, while both Iceland and Argentina will be desperate for a win and hope the other game goes in their favour.
Croatia Points: 6 Goal difference: 5
Nigeria Points: 3 Goal difference: 0
Iceland Points: 1 Goal difference: -2
Argentina Points: 1 Goal Difference: -3
In group E we finally got to see Brazil play more like themselves as they grabbed a 2-0 win over Costa Rica. In the other game of the group Switzerland found a late, late winner against Serbia and therefore put themselves in second place behind Brazi on goal difference, as they both have 4 points each. This means that Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia all have a shot at getting qualified for the next round, but only 2 of them can make it. The 3rd group stage round will be decisive for all of them.
Brazil Points: 4 Goal difference: 2
Switzerland Points: 4 Goal difference: 1
Serbia Points: 3 Goal difference: 0
Costa Rica Points: 0 Goal Difference: -3
in group F Mexico grabbed their second win in a row and took the top spot in the group, while Sweden and Germany fought for 95 long minutes before Die Mannschaft found a very late winner and took all 3 points. As we go into round 3, literally anything could happen and none of the qualifying spots are handed out yet. Germany and Mexico are the big favourites again, as they were before the tournament but Sweden and South Korea can both give us another World Cup shock with a bit of skill and luck.
Mexico Points: 6 Goal difference: 2
Germany Points: 3 Goal difference: 0
Sweden Points: 3 Goal difference: 0
South Korea Points: 0 Goal Difference: -2
In Group G things are going pretty much exactly as expected, with both Belgium and England grabbing impressive wins over Tunisia and Panama. The two top spots in the group are already handed out to the favourites and the two will play each other for the first place when they meet in round 3. As for the Tunisia and Panama, all they can do is play for the honour and enjoy their last World Cup game this summer.
England Points: 6 Goal difference: 6
Belgium Points: 6 Goal difference: 6
Tunisia Points: 0 Goal difference: -4
Panama Points: 0 Goal Difference: -8
In the last and final group Senegal and Japan shared the points between them equally to put themselves in the top 2 spots with 4 points a piece. Meanwhile, Colombia played a perfect football game and kicked Poland out of the tournament with a 3-0 victory. All the 3 remaining teams will have to produce in the last game in order to secure their qualification, and we are therefore set for another round of intense and exciting football in group H.
Japan Points: 4 Goal difference: 1
Senegal Points: 4 Goal difference: 1
Colombia Points: 3 Goal difference: 2
Poland Points: 0 Goal Difference: -4
So far, all 8 groups have produced a lot of great entertainment and as we just saw, many of them are still wide open. This makes the last round of the group stage the most exciting of them all, and we got several very interesting matchups that should warm any football heart as we round up the group stage:
Denmark vs France: 26th of June at 16:00 (CET)
Iceland vs Croatia: 26th of June at 20:00 (CET)
Mexico vs Sweden: 27th of June at 16:00 (CET)
Serbia vs Brazil: 27th of June at 20:00 (CET)
Senegal vs Columbia: 28th of June at 16:00 (CET)
England vs Belgium: 28th of June at 20:00 (CET)
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