We’ve reached the final round of the group stage. Matches will be running simultaneously, as is tradition to ensure teams still play tough and don’t dog it if they’re in a dead rubber match. Groups A and B will be decided, with Qatar being the only team currently eliminated.
Group A Matches - 3:00 PM UK, 10:00 AM ET
Ecuador vs. Senegal / Netherlands vs. Qatar
Netherlands and Ecuador are in the driver seats in their matches. Netherlands get the easier draw as Qatar are already eliminated and have nothing to play for. Ecuador vs. Senegal should be a proper elimination as it’s truly loser goes home. While this World Cup has seen some surprising results in the group stage, I’m not putting any money on Qatar getting a result against the Dutch.
Group B Matches - 7:00 PM UK, 2:00 PM ET
Wales vs. England / Iran vs. USA
This group should end in a pretty spicy manner. Iran filed a formal complaint against the United States for modifying their flag in an official social media post and called for the United States to be removed from the competition. While it’s more than standard gamesmanship, FIFA was not about to remove a team from this competition at this stage, especially when it just elevates a matchup that was already a defacto elimination match.
England and Wales won’t be a slouch though it definitely doesn’t have the tensions that USA/Iran has. The Welsh just haven’t managed to get going this tournament and need a lot of help to advance, including the daunting task of not just defeating England, but hammering them to make up goal differential.