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QATAR 2022

What do Ghana, Cameroon, Argentina, Senegal need to qualify for second round?

The fate of the African teams and Lionel Messi's Argentina is still unclear as the 2022 FIFA World Cup reaches a critical stage.

Qatar 2022 state of play

The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup has reached the midway point, but the progress of some teams still needs to be decided.

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The first two matches of the group stages have been played, but only defending champions France and favourites, Brazil, are assured of a place in the last 16. Heavyweights like Germany and Argentina are facing an early exit unless they turn it around in the third group stage match.

For African teams, it does not look good for Tunisia and Cameroon, but Senegal, Ghana and Morocco are in a good position.

With the third round of group stage matches kicking off tomorrow, we take a look at the permutations in each group.

The Netherlands are currently joint-top of Group A with four points from two matches after they beat Senegal (2-0) and played a 1-1 draw against Ecuador.

Ecuador are second with the same number of points after they beat Qatar 2-0 in the opening match. Senegal are third with three points after beating Qatar 3-1 following their loss to the Netherlands. Qatar are last with no wins and points.

Fixtures

Netherlands vs Qatar - Tuesday, November 29 - 4 pm

Ecuador vs Senegal - Tuesday, November 29 - 4 pm

The Netherlands will qualify if they avoid defeat against Qatar. Louis Van Gaal's men will qualify as group winners if they match Ecuador's result against Senegal.

Ecuador will qualify for the last 16 if they avoid defeat against Senegal.

The South Americans can qualify as group winners if they beat or draw against Senegal and the Netherlands lose to Qatar.

Senegal will qualify for the round of 16 if they beat Ecuador. The African champions can also qualify with a draw, but they will need Qatar to cause a major upset against the Netherlands.

England currently lead Group B with four points following their 6-2 win over Iran and 0-0 draw against the USA. Iran are second after beating Wales 2-0 in their second game, while the USA sit in third place after playing draws in their games against England and Wales. Wales sit bottom with just a solitary point.

Fixtures

Wales vs England - Tuesday, November 29 - 8 pm

Iran vs USA - Tuesday, November 29 - 8 pm

Every team can still qualify in this group, but England and Iran are in a good position. The Three Lions will qualify for the round of 16 if they don't lose by more than three goals against Wales. They can also qualify as group winners if they beat their British rivals. Iran will qualify if they avoid defeat against the USA and Wales do not overhaul their goal difference with a win against England.

The Asian side can qualify as group winners if they beat the USA and England fail to beat the USA. The USA need an outright win against Iran to qualify, while Wales also need a big win against England to qualify.

Poland lead the way in Group C with four points after playing a goalless draw against Mexico and beating Saudi Arabia 2-0. Argentina are second with three points after beating Mexico 2-0 following their shocking loss to Saudi. The Green Falcons sit third with the same number of points as Argentina, while Mexico are bottom with just a solitary point.

Fixtures

Poland vs Argentina - Wednesday, November 30 - 8 pm

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico - Wednesday, November 30 - 8 pm

Poland will qualify as group winners if they beat Argentina and Saudi Arabia fail to beat Mexico. The Polish will also qualify if they play a draw against the Copa America champions. Argentina will qualify as group winners if they beat Poland and Saudi Arabia fail to beat Mexico. A draw may also be enough if there is no winner between Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

If there is a winner, it will come down to goal difference. Saudi Arabia will qualify if they beat Mexico. They can also qualify with a draw, but they will need Poland to beat Argentina. Mexico can only qualify with a win, but they will need Argentina to beat Poland convincingly.

France sit on top and are through to the round of 16 following wins over Australia and England. The Socceroos are second with three points following their win over Tunisia. Denmark are third with just one point, the same number as Tunisia, who sit bottom.

Fixtures.

Tunisia vs France - Wednesday, November 30 - 4 pm

Australia vs Denmark - Wednesday, November 30 - 4 pm

France need just a point to qualify as group winners. Tunisia need to win while hoping Australia and Denmark play a draw to qualify. Australia can qualify with a draw if France beat Tunisia or it ends in a draw.

Denmark needs an outright win to qualify but will need Tunisia not to win against France. If Tunisia win and Denmark win, it will come down to goal difference.

There is all to play for in this group, going into the final matches. However, Spain are in a comfortable position as they lead with four points following their 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica and 1-1 draw against Germany.

Japan are second after shocking Germany in the opener. However, they are level on points with Costa Rica, who secured a smash-and-grab win against the Asians.

Four-time World champions sit bottom after picking up just one point from their first two games.

Fixtures

Japan vs Spain - Thursday, December 1 - 8 pm

Costa Rica vs Germany - Thursday, December 1 - 8 pm

Spain will qualify with a draw against Japan. La Roja will qualify as group winners if they win the game. Japan will qualify if they beat Spain. The Samurais can also qualify with a draw, but they need the match between Germany and Costa Rica to end in a draw.

Costa Rica will qualify with a win over Germany, while a draw could also be enough if Spain beat Japan.

Another group that will go down the wire. Croatia lead with four points following their 4-1 win over Canada and 0-0 draw against Morocco. The Atlas Lions have the same number of points after stunning Belgium. The Red Devils are third with three points, while Canada are out after failing to win their first two games.

Fixtures

Croatia vs Belgium - Thursday, December 1 - 4 pm

Canada vs Morocco - Thursday, December 1 - 4 pm

Morocco need just a point against Canada to secure qualification. The Atlas Lions will qualify as group winners if they beat Canada and Croatia do not beat Belgium. Walid Regragui's men can still progress if they lose, but they will need Croatia to beat Belgium.

Croatia will progress as long as they avoid defeat against Belgium. They will progress as group winners if they beat Belgium and Morocco fail to beat Canada. If both team win, it will come down to goal difference to determine the group winner.

Belgium need a win to progress. A draw could also see them qualify, but they will need a favour from Canada.

Brazil lead with six points and are through to the next round after wins over Serbia and Switzerland. The Swiss sit second with three points following their 1-0 win over Cameroon. Cameroon and Serbia are third and fourth, respectively.

Fixtures

Cameroon vs Brazil - Friday, December 2 - 8 pm

Serbia vs Switzerland - Friday, December 2 - 8 pm

Brazil need just a point to finish as group winners. Switzerland will go through if they beat Serbia in a winner takes all clash. The Swiss can also qualify with a draw if Cameroon fail to beat Brazil.

Cameroon will only qualify if they beat Brazil and Serbia, and Switzerland play a draw. Although they can still qualify if Serbia win, it will come down to goal difference.

Serbia need to beat Switzerland and hope Cameroon fail to win against Brazil to stand a chance of qualifying.

Portugal are through following wins against Ghana and Uruguay. The Black Stars are in a prime position to follow them after a thrilling 3-2 win over South Korea. The Koreans and Uruguay sit joint-bottom with one point apiece.

Fixtures

South Korea vs Portugal - Friday, December 2 - 4 pm

Ghana vs Uruguay - Friday, December 2 - 4 pm

Portugal need just a point to qualify as group winners. South Korea need an outright win to stay in contention, but their fate is no longer in their hands.

Ghana will qualify alongside Portugal if they beat Uruguay. A draw will also be enough if South Korea fail to beat Portugal.

Uruguay will need to win and hope that South Korea do not take the three points against Portugal. If the two scenarios happen, it will come down to goal difference between them.

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