How can the United States advance? Here are the scenarios.
Iran’s 2-0 win over Wales on Friday lifted one team, damaged another and brought more clarity to what the United States must do to advance out of Group B.
The United States and England meet in Friday’s late game. On Tuesday, in the final games of the group stage, England will play Wales, while the United States will play Iran.
Only two of the four teams can advance. If teams finish tied on points in the group standings, the first tiebreaker is goal differential — the difference between goals scored and goals allowed in the three group games. The second tiebreaker is goals scored. It gets extra complicated after that.
Here’s a look at what the United States needs to do to advance to the Round of 16.
If the United States beats England:
The standings would be: United States 4, England and Iran 3, Wales 1.
The Americans would advance with a win or a draw against Iran.
If the United States loses to Iran, it would be eliminated if England beats Wales. If Wales beats or draws England, the group would come down to tiebreakers.
If the United States ties England:
The standings would be: England 4, Iran 3, United States 2, Wales 1.
The Americans would advance with a win 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 would come down to tiebreakers.
The Americans would be eliminated with a draw or loss against Iran.