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USA World Cup Clinching Scenarios for the 2022 Knockout Stage

Here’s what the US needs to do in its final game of group play in order to advance to the knockout stage at the World Cup.

The US Men’s National Team faces a critical third and final World Cup group stage match on Tuesday when it faces Iran (2 p.m. ET, FOX) with everything on the line.

Against Wales in last week’s opener, Gregg Berhalter’s club took an early first-half lead on Tim Weah‘s goal set up by a gorgeous Christian Pulisic through-ball, only to lose the lead on an 82nd-minute penalty by Gareth Bale to finish with a 1-1 draw. Friday against England, the Yanks more than held their own. Pulisic hit the crossbar in the first half, the defense stood, and Matt Turner was strong in goal, but the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

After Iran’s shocking 2-0 win over 10-man Wales on Friday, the USMNT sits third in Group B with two points.

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Group B Standings
  • England has four points, a +4 goal differential, and six goals scored
  • Iran has three points, a -2 goal differential, and four goals scored
  • The United States has two points, a 0 goal differential, and one goal scored
  • Wales has one point, a -2 goal differential, and one goal scored

So, what does the US have to do Tuesday to finish top-two in the group and advance to the round of 16?

USA World Cup Clinching Scenarios: Round of 16

It’s super simple. A win against Iran would push the USMNT through to the knockouts with five points. A loss or daw against Iran would eliminate the United States and end a disappointing World Cup run.

The US could even win the group with a win over Iran and an England loss to Wales, or even a win and an England draw against Wales if the USMNT defeats Iran by at least four or five goals.

If you had told the USMNT a week ago that all it had to do to advance was defeat Iran, it would have taken it. The USMNT is 16th in the FIFA world rankings, compared to Iran’s 20. The task in front of the Americans is as easy to explain as it gets.

Win and they’re in.

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About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.