Brazil’s incredible depth in squad has seen them produce two efficient performances to be on six points from two matches and book their place in the round of 16.
Cameroon, Serbia and Switzerland will fight it out for one place in the knockouts as the group stage comes to an end on Friday.
Here’s a look at how things stand and the different possible scenarios to progress out of Group G ahead of the last set of fixtures:
Note: All the set of last matches in each group will kickoff simultaneously.
Friday, December 2
0030 (Next AM): Serbia v Switzerland, 974 Stadium (Doha)
0030 (Next AM): Cameroon v Brazil, Lusail Stadium (Lusail)
The flashy football has appeared only in patches but Brazil have shown a good mixture of flair and efficiency to have booked their place in the round of 16 with two wins out of two. With Portugal likely to top Group H, Brazil will want to make sure they top their group too to avoid a round of 16 clash against another favourite. They just need to avoid defeat to top Group G, a draw or win against Cameroon will do.
Should Brazil and Serbia lose, Switzerland will be level on six points with the South Americans. If the two results in a GD swing of two, Brazil will top the group. A GD swing of three will see goals scored come into play and if that is equal too, then H2H (favouring Brazil). Switzerland will need a GD swing of +4 to top the group.
The Swiss are guaranteed a place in the round of 16 with a win against Serbia. They can also top the group if they win and Brazil lose (conditions apply as above).
If Switzerland draw against Serbia, they will only need Brazil to not lose against Cameroon. If Switzerland draw and Cameroon defeat Brazil, there will be a tie on four points between the Swiss and the Indomitable Lions. A one-goal margin for Cameroon will mean the GD is equal and goals scored will come into play. If that is level too, the Swiss have the H2H advantage.
If Switzerland lose against Serbia, they are out and latter go through with Brazil.
The Indomitable Lions absolutely need to win against Brazil and for Switzerland to lose for the African team to progress through to round of 16.
If Cameroon win and Serbia defeat Switzerland, there will a tiebreaker on 4 points for second place. If Cameroon’s margin of win is equal or better than Serbia’s, the African side will join Brazil in the round of 16. If Serbia equal Cameroon on goal difference, then goals scored will come into play. If that is level too, we will head into fair play territory. No H2H scenario will favour Cameroon as their only point is from a draw.
Draw or lose, Cameroon are out.
Serbia too are in a similar situation to Cameroon but perhaps have a better shot at qualification as they face Switzerland in a more winnable fixture, compared to the Africans.
Serbia must win and then Cameroon must draw or lose against Brazil for the Europeans to go through. If both Serbia and Cameroon win, Serbia must win by a bigger margin than Cameroon to overtake the Africans on goal difference.
Draw or lose, Serbia are out.
Round of 16 fixtures
Monday, December 5
Game 54: 0030 (Next AM): Winners Group G v Runners-up Group H, 974 Stadium (Doha)
Tuesday, December 6
Game 56: 0030 (Next AM): Winners Group H v Runners-up Group G, Lusail Stadium (Lusail)
If two or more teams in the same group are equal on points after the completion of the group stage, the following criteria, in the order below, shall be applied to determine the ranking:
- (a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
- (b) superior goal difference in all group matches;
- (c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
- (d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- (e) superior goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
- (f) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
- (g) highest team conduct score relating to the number of yellow and red cards obtained: yellow card: minus 1 point indirect red card (as a result of two yellow cards): minus 3 points, direct red card: minus 4 points, yellow card and direct red card: minus 5 points Only one of the above deductions shall be applied to a player in a single match. The team with the highest number of points shall be ranked highest.
- (h) drawing of lots by FIFA.
- With respect to the second step, all affected teams will be ranked by applying the criteria (d) to (g) in order. If one team qualifies for a higher or lower ranking pursuant to one criterion but it is not possible to rank all teams on the basis of the same criterion, the remaining two or three teams will be ranked pursuant to the next criterion, and so on. In any case, the second step of the ranking does not restart for the two or three teams remaining after application of a criterion.
— via FIFA World Cup regulations document