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Women’s World Cup advancement scenarios come into focus at end of group stage - The Washington Post

Ellen White and England finished atop Group D after beating Japan on Wednesday. (Claude Paris/AP)

By Matt Bonesteel

Matt Bonesteel

Reporter for the Early Lead

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June 19 at 5:18 PM

The final round of Women’s World Cup group-stage matches got underway Monday in France, with the teams either looking to improve their standing or earn needed points for passage into the knockout round.

[Women's World Cup bracket and schedule]

The first- and second-place teams in each group qualify for the round of 16 along with the four best third-place teams, and the tiebreakers work like this:

1. Points obtained in group matches.

2. Goal differential.

3. Total goals scored.

4. Points obtained in the matches between the teams in question.

5. Goal differential obtained in the matches between the teams in question.

6. Goals scored in the matches between the teams in question.

7. Fair play points, with teams getting docked points for yellow and red cards.

8. Drawing of lots.

Here’s a look at how things stand entering Thursday. All times Eastern.

[Team USA secures berth in the knockout round, where tougher tests loom]

Group A

Team Record (W-D-L) GF GA GD Points
1. France 3-0-0 7 1 6 9
2. Norway 2-0-1 6 3 3 6
3. Nigeria 1-0-2 2 4 -2 3
4. South Korea 0-0-3 1 8 -7 0

France won the group with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria on Monday, with the lone goal coming on a penalty. France will face a third-place team in the round of 16 on Sunday. Norway earned a 2-1 win over South Korea on Monday and finished second in the group. The Scandinavians will face Group C runner-up Australia in the round of 16 on Saturday. Winless South Korea was eliminated, while third-place Nigeria must await further results to learn if it survives group play. (See below for more.)

Group B

Team Record (W-D-L) GF GA GD Points
1. Germany 3-0-0 6 0 6 9
2. Spain 1-1-1 3 2 1 4
3. China 1-1-1 1 1 0 4
4. South Africa 0-0-3 1 8 -7 0

The Germans secured first place in the group with a 4-0 win over South Africa on Monday; they will play one of the third-place teams in the round of 16 on Saturday. Spain and China battled to a 0-0 draw on Monday. Spain finished second in the group via goal differential and will face the Group F winner on Monday. China is ensured of advancing as one of the top four third-place teams. South Africa has been eliminated.

Group C

1. Italy 2-0-1 7 2 5 6
2. Australia 2-0-1 8 5 3 6
3. Brazil 2-0-1 6 3 3 6
4. Jamaica 0-0-3 1 12 -11 0

Italy finished atop Group C despite a 1-0 loss to Brazil on Tuesday. Italy will face a third-place qualifier in Montpellier on Tuesday. Australia surged past Brazil with a 4-1 win over Jamaica to finish second and will play Group A runner-up Norway Saturday in Nice. Brazil secured passage into the knockout round as a third-place qualifier, while Jamaica scored its first-ever World Cup goal but was eliminated.

Group D

Team Record (W-D-L) GF GA GD Points
1. England 3-0-0 5 1 4 9
2. Japan 1-1-1 2 3 -1 4
3. Argentina 0-2-1 3 4 -1 2
4. Scotland 0-1-2 5 7 -2 1

England won the group with a 2-0 victory over Japan on Wednesday. The Lionesses will face a third-place qualifier in Valenciennes on Sunday in the round of 16. Japan’s four points were enough to claim the runner-up spot; it will face the Group E winner (either Canada or the Netherlands) in Rennes on Tuesday. Argentina finished third in the group and maintains slim hopes of advancing after earning a comeback 3-3 draw against Scotland on Wednesday, but will have to wait until Thursday to learn its fate. Scotland finished last in the group and was eliminated. (See below for more.)

Group E

Team Record (W-D-L) GF GA GD Points
1. Netherlands 2-0-0 4 1 3 6
2. Canada 2-0-0 3 0 3 6
3. Cameroon 0-0-2 1 4 -3 0
4. New Zealand 0-0-2 0 3 -3 0

Remaining matches (both noon Thursday): Netherlands vs. Canada, Cameroon vs. New Zealand.

First and second place will go to Netherlands and Canada, with the order determined by the result of their match Thursday. The Netherlands will take first place with a draw because they will have scored more total goals. We’ll need to see a winner in the Cameroon-New Zealand match if either of those teams have any hopes of advancement.

Group F

Team Record (W-D-L) GF GA GD Points
1. United States 2-0-0 16 0 16 6
2. Sweden 2-0-0 7 1 6 6
3. Chile 0-0-2 0 5 -5 0
4. Thailand 0-0-2 1 18 -17 0

Remaining matches (both 3 p.m. Thursday): Sweden vs. United States, Thailand vs. Chile.

The United States and Sweden have secured berths in the knockout round, and Team USA will win the group with a win or draw against Sweden on Thursday. A draw between Chile and Thailand means both will be heading home. Thailand will almost certainly be eliminated regardless because of its miserable goal differential.

Ranking of third-place teams (after Wednesday’s games)

Team Record (W-D-L) GF GA GD Points
1. Brazil (C)* 2-0-1 6 3 3 6
2. China (B)* 1-1-1 1 1 0 4
3. Nigeria (A) 1-0-2 2 4 -2 3
4. Argentina (D) 0-2-1 3 4 -1 2
5. Cameroon (E) 0-0-2 1 4 -3 0
6. Chile (F) 0-0-2 0 5 -5 0

The top four third-place teams advance to the knockout stage. An asterisk means that team is guaranteed to advance.

Here are the remaining scenarios for the third-place slots in the knockout round, entering Thursday’s games:

— Brazil and China have clinched third-place spots. They can do no better than third place. Their knockout-round opponents are not yet set.

— Nigeria, which finished third in Group A, has one win and three points, and will need to await the results of Group E and Group F on Thursday to learn its fate. A draw in either Cameroon-New Zealand or Chile-Thailand, and the Nigerians will be safe.

— After its draw with Scotland on Wednesday, Argentina (two points) is still alive for a third-place qualifying spot, though just barely: It needs both relevant games Thursday — Cameroon-New Zealand and Chile-Thailand — to end in draws.

— Cameroon, New Zealand and Chile (zero points each) need wins Thursday to have any chance of earning a third-place spot. Cameroon and New Zealand play each other.

— While technically still alive, Thailand would need either a Cameroon-New Zealand draw or perhaps the most ludicrous win in sports history over Chile on Thursday to advance, as its minus-17 goal differential puts it at a severe handicap compared with the others in terms of the first tiebreaker.

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