World Cup permutations: Wales' hopes of progression bleak after defeat

World Cup Group B permutations: Wales’ hopes of reaching the next round look bleak as they need to beat England to have ANY chance of progression… while the Three Lions could qualify tonight with a victory over the United States

  • Wales conceded two late goals in a costly defeat to Iran at the World Cup
  • Rob Page’s side will need to beat England to have any chance of progression
  • Even then, they will need to hope results go their way elsewhere in the group
  • England could qualify from Group B tonight with a victory over the United States
  • READ: Gareth Bale admits Hennessey’s red card ‘changed the game’ vs Iran
  • READ: Chris Sutton blasts Robbie Savage’s ‘disrespectful’ Iran comments
  • PLAYER RATINGS: Anonymous Gareth Bale scores a 3/10 against Iran
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Wales’ hopes of reaching the Round of 16 at the World Cup look to be all but over following their late heartache against Iran.

The Iranians emerged with a 2-0 victory over Rob Page’s side after they scored in the eighth and eleventh minute of stoppage time with goals from Rouzbeh Cheshmi and Ramin Rezaeian.

It means they will need to pull of an upset and beat England to have any chance of reaching the knock-out stage – though they would still need other results in the group to go their way.

Wales’ World Cup hopes look all but over after they failed to beat Iran on Friday, leaving them in need of a shock victory over England in the final game to have any chance of progression

England could qualify from the group tonight if they are able to beat the United States

Iran know a victory over the United States would ensure qualification into the Round of 16

One saving grace is that England might play a weakened team as they could qualify and essentially win the group if they are to beat the United States tonight.

If the United States were to pull off an upset against England then it would mean that all four sides would still be in with a chance of making it out of the group going into the final match-day.

It would be the same case if tonight’s game ends in a draw, though England’s superior goal advantage would make it unlikely for them not to qualify even if they were to lose to Wales.

If two or more sides were to finish on the same points after three games then in order, it would go down to goal difference, goals scored and head-to-head results.

The United States could top the group if they beat England on Friday night, though a defeat will leave them in need of a victory over Iran in the final game to have any chance of qualification

England could qualify tonight though a shock USA victory would send them top of the group

If the sides involved could not be separated after all of them factors are taken into consideration, then fair play will be used.

Senegal became the first team to ever be knocked out by the fair play system at the 2018 World Cup after accruing two more yellow cards than Japan. 

What each team needs to qualify 

Tie breakers: If two or more teams are still level based on points, goal difference, goals scored and head-to-head results, then the fair play system will be used.


The Three Lions will qualify if they are to beat the United States on Friday night.

If they were to draw tonight, a win or a draw against Wales would send them through. They could still go through with a draw against the USA and a defeat to Wales, thanks to their superior goal advantage as the group stands.

A shock defeat on Friday though could see them crash out with a draw against Wales – if Iran beat the USA and the Americans are somehow able to miraculously pull back the large goal difference currently in England’s favour.

A defeat in both their remaining games would see Gareth Southgate’s side crash out.


After their victory over Wales, Carlos Quieroz’s side could seal qualification with a victory over the United States regardless of the other results in the group.

If they were to get a draw against the USA, they would go through if both the Americans and Wales failed to beat England. 

If USA lost tonight then drew with Iran, while Wales were also to beat England, then it would come to a tie-breaker between Iran and Wales. Their victory over the Welsh could prove crucial in terms of their head-to-head record. 

United States

The Americans could top the group tonight if they are to stun England and claim a famous victory. If that were to happen, then a draw with Iran would be enough to send them through.

A draw against the Three Lions would leave them third behind Iran and still in a strong position to make the next stage as long as they beat the Iranians in the final game.

A defeat tonight, would mean they would need to beat Iran in their final game to have any chance. In that case, if Wales were to upset the Three Lions and secure victory, then it would go to a tie-breaker with Rob Page’s side.


Wales need to beat England in their final game to have any hope of making the next stage.

Even then it could still be difficult for them to advance. If USA were to lose or draw with England, they would need the game between the Americans and Iran to finish as a draw. Then it would go down to goal difference with Iran.

A victory for the United States against England would mean that one of the USA or Iran would finish ahead of Wales regardless of the result in the final game. 

That would leave them facing a tie-breaker with England if they were to upset Gareth Southgate’s side. In that case, Wales would have to overcome what is currently a large gap in goal difference between both nations. 

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