It’s time to say goodbye to 10am fixtures at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar as the third and final round of group games get underway today.
Group A games finish with a double-header underway from 3pm that sees the Netherlands take on hosts Qatar while Ecuador meet Senegal, potentially without Enner Valencia.
Bar hosting the World Cup, it’s not been great for Qatar in their two group games – they were the first host team in the history of the World Cup to lose their opening fixture, and the first eliminated from this year’s edition. They did manage to score against Senegal through, Mohammed Muntari with a decent effort last week.
Netherlands have four points on the board already having beaten Senegal 2-0 before fluffing their lines against Ecuador last week and should – or at least could – finish top of Group A.
Ecuador need a draw or better to advance to the last 16, though a win for Senegal would see the African nation through as well so both sides should be going all out for the win to keep their chances alive.
Group B finishes out this evening with both games underway from 7pm.
England effectively have one foot in the knockout stages but the permutations mean they need to avoid a 4-0 defeat to Wales, anything else and they’re golden. Wales have underachieved, rescuing a late draw against the USA in the opening round before capitulating late on against Iran, including the sending off of first-choice goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy.
Even if Wales can pull off the upset, they still need to see what happens between the USA and Iran in the other game of the evening. They’re not out just yet but may need a Welsh miracle to progress when they take to the pitch later.
USA may be favourites against Iran but the bounce-back win over Wales will do wonders for their confidence in a game that’s expected to throw up the second qualifier from the group.
Gregg Berhalter’s side let their 1-0 lead against Wales slip in the opening round but played out a scoreless draw against England. Iran hold the point advantage so it’s win-or-bust for the USA if they’re to make it into the last 16.
FIFA World Cup Day 10 fixtures
3pm: Netherlands v Qatar
3pm: Ecuador v Senegal
7pm: England v Wales
7pm: Iran v USA
Check the full list of fixtures and kick-off times here.