With two victories from as many games, Croatia confirmed their place in last 16 of FIFA World Cup from group D. Only one spot up for grab for three teams Argentina, Iceland & Nigeria. PR explains how Argentina or Nigeria or Iceland can qualify to the next round.
How Argentina can qualify?
Two times champion Argentina sits last of group D with one draw and one loss from first two matches claiming only single point. The Albiceleste started their World Cup campaign poorly with 1-1 draw against Iceland. Messi missed a penalty for Argentina that sums up the horrible performance put up by Argentina.
If draw against Iceland served as warning for Argentina, a 0-3 defeat against Croatia proved disaster for them. A childish mistake from Argentina goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero gifted first goal for Croatia, then Modric & Rakitic scored another two in the last 10 minutes to put the nail in Argentina’s coffin.
Despite their poor form and single point from two matches, Argentina & Messi’s World Cup fate still in their own hand.
To qualify, Argentina must beat Nigeria in their last group match on 26th June. But there is a catch. Only a win might not be enough for Argentina due to their heavy 0-3 loss over Croatia.
If Iceland draw or lost in their last group match against Croatia, which will be played at the same time as Argentina vs Nigeria, Argentina will qualify. If Iceland wins against Croatia, Argentina needs to beat Nigeria by at least one more goal then Iceland’s goal difference against Croatia.
How Nigeria can qualify?
Super Eagles Nigeria sits second in the group D point table with one win and one loss from opening two games. Oghenekaro Etebo’s own goal and Luka Modric’s penalty ensured a 0-2 defeat against group leader Croatia. But Super Eagles bounced back against Iceland in second match, claiming a well-deserved 2-0 victory. Ahmed Musa scored twice to keep Nigeria’s World Cup campaign back on track.
A win against Argentina will surely confirm their place in last 16. But a draw can also see them through as long as Iceland doesn’t beat Croatia.
How Iceland can qualify?
Iceland grabbed a sole point from two matches just like Argentina, but sits third in group D based on superior goal difference. 2016 EURO surprise outfit and quarter-finalist Iceland impressed in their World Cup opening game against Argentina as they earned a famous 1-1 draw. Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson was the hero as he saves Lionel Messi’s penalty to ensure his sides first ever World Cup point.
Iceland held Nigeria at Bay in the first half of their second match, but Ahmed Musa’s brilliance sunk them to 0-2 defeat and rocked their World Cup campaign.
Iceland still can qualify to round of 16 from group D, but their situation is little bit complex. First they must beat group leader Croatia, which might be a daunting task given Croatia’s impressive form in this World Cup. Argentina vs Nigeria match result needs to be in their favor as well. If Nigeria beats Argentina, then Iceland’s win against Croatia won’t be enough. If Nigeria draws against Argentina, Iceland needs to beat Croatia by at least 3 goals difference. If Argentina beats Nigeria, then Iceland needs to beat Croatia matching Argentina’s goal difference against Nigeria.
Group D Points table:
In a nutshell-
- Argentina must beat Nigeria, Iceland must draw or lose to Croatia or Argentina must beat Nigeria at greater goal difference than Iceland’s goal difference against Croatia.
- A win against Argentina will be enough for Nigeria. A draw can do the job as long Iceland does not beat Croatia by two or more goals.
- Iceland must beat Croatia and hope Argentina beat Nigeria no more than one goal difference.