Germany’s stunning goal against Sweden was a blow to Mexico as there is now a scenario that could knock them out of the World Cup

Mexico is the only undefeated team remaining in Group F, but after Germany's comeback win over Sweden, El Tri will still need to get a result in its final match of the group stage to ensure that they make it through to the knockout round.

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Mexico is the only undefeated team remaining in Group F, but after Germany’s comeback win over Sweden, El Tri will still need to get a result in its final match of the group stage to ensure that they make it through to the knockout round.
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Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Germany breathed life into their 2018 World Cup campaign with a stoppage-time stunner from Toni Kroos to keep the team’s hope of repeating as champions alive.

With Germany’s win, Group F has fallen into chaos, with all four teams still alive heading into the final matchday of the group stage. Despite Mexico being the only undefeated remaining in the group, El Tri still has not yet punched its ticket yet to the knockout round.

Meanwhile, even South Korea, who have yet to steal a single point in the group, still isn’t technically eliminated from the tournament. With just two matches remaining, the scenarios within Group F are still quite confounding – we did our best to break them down for you below.

Here is how each of the teams can advance to the knockout round:

Chances of advancing based on FiveThirtyEight’s SPI ratings.


Here are the standings for Group F after two rounds.

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FIFA

With Mexico facing Sweden and Germany taking on South Korea in the final round, there are several scenarios in which advancing will be determined by tie-breakers, including scenarios where three teams are tied at six points or three teams tied with three points.


Germany

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Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Chances to advance: 87%

Scenarios to advance:

  • Germany advances if they beat South Korea and …
    • Mexico defeats or draws with Sweden, or
    • Sweden beats Mexico, and Germany beats either Mexico or Sweden in a 3-way tiebreaker (goal differential, goals scored, discipline). Mexico currently holds a 2-goal advantage on goal differential, and Germany and Sweden are tied on goal differential and goals scored.
  • Germany advances if they draw with South Korea and
    • Mexico defeats Sweden, or
    • Sweden draws with Mexico, and Germany beats Sweden in a tiebreaker (goal differential, goals scored, discipline). Mexico currently holds a 2-goal advantage on goal differential, and Germany and Sweden are tied on goal differential and goals scored.
  • If Germany loses to South Korea, there’s still a chance for them to advance, as long as Mexico beats Sweden and Germany is ahead of South Korea and Sweden on tiebreakers.

The nightmare scenario (the most likely way to not advance): If Germany loses or draws with South Korea, they are out if Sweden beats Mexico.

One thing to know: Thanks to an easier opponent to finish off the group stage, Germany actually has a more favorable chance at advancing through to the elimination round than Mexico does. Toni Kroos’ late game-winner was likely the most valuable goal of the tournament thus far.


Mexico

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Clive Mason/Getty Images

Chances to advance: 72%

Scenarios to advance:

  • Mexico will advance with a win or draw against Sweden or a Germany loss or draw with South Korea.
  • If Sweden beats Mexico by one goal, Mexico can still advance if Germany beats South Korea, and Mexico beats either Germany or Sweden on tiebreakers (goal differential, goals scored, discipline). Mexico currently holds a 2-goal advantage on goal differential.
  • If Sweden beats Mexico by more than one goal, Mexico can still advance if South Korea beats or draws with Germany.

The nightmare scenario (the most likely way to not advance):If Mexico loses to Sweden by two or more goals, they are out if Germany beats South Korea.

One thing to know: Mexico may not have the best odds in the group, but the team is still a heavy favorite to move forward, and are the only team in the that can win the group without help from elsewhere in the table. Should Mexico win or tie on Wednesday, the team will win the group and be one step closer to breaking a curse that has haunted El Tri in the knockout round for more than 30 years.


Sweden

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Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Chances to advance: 40%

Scenarios to advance:

  • Sweden advances with a win over Mexico
  • If Sweden draws with Mexico, they can advance if …
    • South Korea beats Germany, or
    • Germany draws with South Korea, and Sweden wins the tie-breaker over Germany (goals scored, discipline). They are currently tied on goal differential and goals scored.
  • If Sweden loses to Mexico, they can still advance if South Korea beats Germany and Sweden is ahead of South Korea and Germany on tiebreakers.

The nightmare scenario (the most likely way to not advance):If Sweden loses to Mexico, they are out if Germany beats or draws with South Korea.

One thing to know: Sweden’s scenarios are the most complicated of the bunch, but it’s likely too much for the squad to think about on the pitch. The best thing the team can do is beat Mexico and then just hope for the best.


South Korea

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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Chances to advance: 1%

Scenarios to advance:

  • South Korea advances if they beat Germany, Mexico defeats Sweden, and South Korea finishes ahead of both Germany and Sweden on tiebreakers (goal differential, goals scored, discipline). They currently trail both by two goals on goal differential.

The nightmare scenario (the most likely way to not advance):If South Korea loses or draws with Germany, they are out.

One thing to know: Already with a negative goal differential, South Korea faces a mighty uphill climb to escape the group stage. This is about as close to being eliminated as a team can be heading into its final match, but South Korea certainly still has something to play for.


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