How Argentina can qualify for knockouts after Poland beat Saudi Arabia: FIFA World Cup Group C scenarios explained

After Poland’s win over Saudi Arabia, here’s what Argentina needs to do to qualify for the FIFA World Cup round of 16.

Published : Nov 26, 2022 20:33 IST

Lionel Messi reacts after Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia.
Lionel Messi reacts after Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia. | Photo Credit: AP

Lionel Messi reacts after Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia. | Photo Credit: AP

Argentina faces an uphill task to qualify for the knockouts of the FIFA World Cup as it heads into a must-win clash against Mexico on Saturday.

HIGHLIGHTS: Argentina vs Mexico

Lionel Messi’s men lost to Saudi Arabia 1-2 in the opening game on Tuesday has left it bottom of the table in Group C.

After Poland’s 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia earlier in the day, we take a look at the round of 16 scenarios for Argentina with two matches left.

Group C standings:

Position Teams Matches Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD Points
1 Poland 2 1 1 0 2 0 2 4
2 Saudi Arabia 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1 3
3 Mexico 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1
4 Argentina 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0

What happens if Argentina beats Mexico?

If Argentina beats Mexico, La Albiceleste will remain in contention to reach the knockouts. A 1-0 win over Mexico will take Argentina to second behind Poland and a win in its final game against Poland see it through to the last 16.

If Argentina draws against Poland, then a draw between Saudi Arabia and Mexico will guarantee Argentina’s passage. Both Argentina and Saudi will have the same number of points but the former will edge ahead because of a superior goal difference.

What happens if Argentina draws with Mexico?

If Argentina plays out a draw with Mexico, it will remain bottom of the table with 1 point to its name. In this case, an Argentina win over Poland with a margin of two goals or more will take Messi’s men into the knockouts. provided Mexico and Saudi Arabia play out a draw.

What happens if Argentina loses to Mexico?

If Argentina loses to Mexico it will be out of contention for the knockouts as both Poland and Mexico will move to four points. Argentina can only reach three points with a win in its final game.

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