World Cup group scenarios for Mexico and what they need to advance to the knockout stage

Fans might be wondering “is Mexico out of the World Cup?” after the latest 2-0 defeat to Argentina. No, Mexico still has a chance to advance from the group stage.

Is Mexico Out Of The World Cup?

Mexico still has a small chance of advancing out of the group stage with one game to go. El Tri’s World Cup campaign is off to a brutal start with no goals scored, a draw with Poland and a defeat to Argentina.

As things stand Mexico sits bottom of Group C with one point.

While it looks bleak, all hope is not lost. Mexico will need to defeat Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Nov. 30. They will also need some help.

How Mexico Can Advance To The Knockout Rounds

The final day of Group C is going to be chaotic with all four teams able to advance and be eliminated. It could very well come down to the World Cup tiebreakers with the first being goal difference, next one being goals scored and then it’s head-to-head.

That could be problematic for El Tri as they have yet to score in the tournament.

Mexico advances with:

  • Mexico win + Poland win vs. Argentina
  • Mexico win by at least 4 goals + Poland/Argentina draw
  • Mexico win + Argentina win vs. Poland with significant goal difference swing*

*In this scenario Mexico needs to finish with a higher goal difference than Poland. Mexico’s goal difference is -2 while Poland’s is +2. There needs to be a five-goal swing so Mexico finishes with the higher goal difference. Here are some examples:

  • Mexico wins by 1 goal + Argentina wins 4 goals
  • Mexico wins 2 goals + Argentina wins by 3 goals
  • Mexico wins by 3 goals + Argentina wins by 2 goals

It gets even stickier if Poland and Mexico finish with a tied goal difference. If that’s the case, then Mexico needs to have more goals scored than Poland. 

Mexico has yet to score in the tournament so they would need a minimum of two goals vs. Saudi Arabia to tie Poland’s goal count. Then they would have to worry about Poland scoring any goals vs. Argentina.

If Mexico and Poland tie on points, goal difference and goals scored then it will come down to the fair play tiebreaker.

This means whichever team has less cards will advance. This happened between Japan and Senegal in 2018.

As things stand Mexico has six yellow cards and Poland has four.

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