The Matildas: Round of 16 Qualification Matrix

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Will the Matildas qualify for the Round of 16 after tomorrow morning’s match against Sweden?

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The short answer is yes. Here’s why…

The Matildas have one foot in the Round of 16


WIN

If Australia win then qualification to the Round of 16 is guaranteed. In the unlikely scenario that the USA drop points against Nigeria then the Matildas will finish top and play against one of the third-place qualifiers in Edmonton. More than likely though, a win for Australia will see them finish second in the group meaning a clash against Brazil in Moncton.

DRAW

A draw against Sweden coupled with a USA win or draw will see the Matildas finish second in the group and face Brazil in the Round of 16.

The only way Australia would not finish second in the group with a draw is if Nigeria beat the USA. This in itself has a number of different scenarios due to the World Cup’s tie-breaker rules.

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  • Nigeria beat USA by one goal: USA will still finish top, Australia will finish second, Nigeria will finish third due to inferior goal difference between the three teams
  • Nigeria beat USA by three goals or more: Nigeria tops the group, Australia finish second, USA finish third
  • Nigeria beat USA by two goals: If it is 2-0, USA finish third, Australia second and Nigeria third. If it is 3-1, USA finish first while Australia and Nigeria draw lots for second place.
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    If it is a two goal margin with Nigeria scoring four goals or more, Australia will finish third but with four points will most qualify for the Round of 16 anyway as one of the top four third-placed teams (see below)

LOSS

If Australia lose to Sweden and Nigeria beat the USA then Australia will finish fourth and be knocked out of the World Cup.

As four of the six teams that finish third still qualify for the Round of 16, a loss against Sweden is still likely to see the Matildas get through as long as USA win or draw with Nigeria. If Nigeria fail to win, ALL of the following will need to happen for the Matildas to get knocked out of the World Cup at the Group Stage:

  • Australia lose to Sweden
  • Costa Rica defeat Brazil
  • There must be a winner between Spain and Korea Republic
  • England face Colombia and must avoid a heavier defeat than Australia (ie: if Australia loses 1-0, England must not lose 2-0)
  • France faces Mexico and must be two goals better than Australia (ie: if Australia loses 3-0, France can only lose 1-0)
  • Switzerland must avoid a nine goal loss to Cameroon OR Cameroon has to avoid a six goal loss

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