Iran started off the tournament on Friday by defeating Wales 2-0. During the match, Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy was shown a red card and was ejected from the game. This made Group B a lot more interesting before Iran played England on Sunday. Because Wales only managed a draw against the United States in their opening match, and then went on to lose to Iran, the requirements for the United States men’s national team to win have likely changed as a result of this. We’ll go into the specifics, but the bottom line is that the United States have a good chance of moving on to the next round if they win either their match against England on Friday or their match against Iran on Tuesday. We’ll discuss the specifics later. Therefore, the US Men’s National Team is in a good position to advance as long as they avoid suffering a humiliating loss at the hands of England. Let’s take a look at where each team now stands in its respective group:
Group B standings
|Name||Matches played||Win||Loss||Draw||Points||Goal difference|
Possible avenues for progress for the United States of America
- The United States will take exclusive possession of the first place in the group if they are victorious versus England. To go through the round of 16, all that is required is four points, a victory over Iran or a draw, and for Wales to lose or draw against England on the final day of competition. Even if Wales wins against England and the United States loses against Iran, there is still a chance for Wales to advance as long as they are able to overcome the United States’ better goal difference and move ahead of them in the table.
- The United States would remain in third place with two points if they were to get a draw against England; but, if they were to win their match against Iran on the final day, they would still be able to go to the round of 16. If the United States were to suffer a defeat at the hands of Iran, their chances of advancing to the next round would be eliminated, and Iran and England would move on to the next round instead unless Wales were to win and makeup six goals in goal differential. The United States Men’s National Team would still only have three points after a tie with Iran, although both England and Iran have at least four points thanks to their victories.
- Even if they were to lose against England, the United States would still be in third place, unless they were to lose by a margin of more than three goals, in which case they would fall to fourth place, below Wales. They could still proceed to the next round with a win against Iran and a loss or draw by Wales, but if Wales beat England while also erasing the goal difference deficit, the United States won’t be able to move on to the next round.
- A draw against England would make it considerably easier for the United States men’s national team to advance to the round of 16, but the United States would need to win their match against Iran for sure. And if they are able to stun the world and win against England, then they will be almost eliminated from the competition before they ever play Iran.