The pivotal (for some) third matches of the World Cup group stage are upon us. Group A and Group B wrap things up today, all four places in the knockout stage still up for grabs. The tiebreakers are goal difference, goals scored, points in head-to-head matches, goal difference in head-to-head matches, goals-scored in head-to-head matches, and fair play points, in that order.
Ecuador take on Senegal and Netherlands take on Qatar at 9 am ET. In that first match, Senegal basically must win to advance, and Ecuador advance with a win or a draw. The Netherlands can advance in some situations even with a loss. A point puts them through.
The United States face Iran and England face Wales. The US must win to advance. Iran advances with a win and will also advance with draw unless Wales beats England and both England and Wales have better goal difference. England are through with a win or a draw and are only eliminated if they lose by more than four goals.
Cameroon 3 - Serbia 3: if you watched the middle 35ish minutes of this match, you would have seen all the scoring, including two goals from Serbia in first half added time.
South Korea 2 - Ghana 3: Cho Gue-sung became the first player in South Korean history to score a brace at the World Cup. Unfortunately, Mohammed Kudus matched that feat for Ghana on top of Mohammed Salisu’s goal.
Brazil 1 - Switzerland 0: a cracking strike from Casemiro was enough to claim the points for Brazil against an obstinate Swiss side. Turns out that Neymar dude, who didn’t play because of an ankle injury, is pretty good and important to his country.
Portugal 2 - Uruguay 0: Bruno Fernandes scored both goals, one a penalty to lift Portugal over Uruguay. Portugal looked much more the favorite just behind the absolute favorites we expected them to be after a lackluster performance in their opening match.