World Cup 2022: How Teams Can Advance to the Round of 16


World Cup 2022

The 2022 World Cup is finally here. This year’s tournament is a little more open than usual, our chief soccer correspondent writes. And with the first matches completed in each group, we've already seen two major upsets: Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia, and Germany’s defeat against Japan.

In the tournament’s opening matches, known as the group stage, each team plays the other three teams in its group, earning three points for a win and one point for a draw. The two teams with the most points in each group advance to the knockout stage. The first tiebreaker at the end of group play is goal differential — the total number of goals scored in group play minus the goals allowed. The next tiebreaker is the most goals scored in group play

The Netherlands shares the lead in Group A with Educador. No match in the World Cup is a guarantee, but the Netherlands faces 0-2 Qatar next. The Dutch would advance even with a draw, and they could also advance with a loss, depending on the Ecuador-Senegal outcome and if they can hold on to their goal differential advantage (the first tiebreaker).

Senegal, the reigning champion of Africa, bounced back from a loss to the Netherlands with a 3-1 win against Qatar. Senegal’s match with Ecuador, which has four points, appears likely to decide a spot in the knockout round. Senegal will most likely have to win; a draw would mean it would have to count on a convincing Qatar victory over the Netherlands.

Qatar lost, 3-1, to Senegal in its second match. It has been eliminated.