(CNN Spanish) — Costa Rica reaches the final match of the group stage with the possibility of advancing to the round of 16 of the World Cup in Qatar, even after the debut against Spain in which they were defeated with a 7-0 win.
The Ticos achieved a 1-0 victory in their match against Japan last Sunday, which allowed them to keep alive the illusion of qualifying for the next phase of the World Cup.
This Thursday, in the last day of Group E, Costa Rica will face Germany, while Spain will face Japan.
So far, La Roja is the group leader with 4 points after their win against Costa Rica and a draw against Germany, followed by Japan and Costa Rica with 3 points each (in that order by goal difference, a criterion in the that the Central American nation was especially badly placed after the game against Spain). Germany closes the Group E table with 1 point, which they unexpectedly lost to Japan in their World Cup debut.
What does Costa Rica need to advance to the round of 16?
There are two scenarios in which the Ticos would advance to the next round:
- If they beat Germany this Thursday they secure the ticket to the round of 16 no matter what happens in the duel between Spain and Japan, since they would be left with 6 points and that would ensure first or second place in the group.
- If they draw against Germany and Spain beat Japan They would also pass, in this case in second place, since they would be left with 4 points and the team led by Luis Enrique with 7.
A tie is not useful for Costa Rica if Spain and Japan tie, because in that case they would be left with the same points as the Japanese but would lose due to goal difference, and a victory for Japan is not useful either.
If the Costa Ricans lose, they are eliminated regardless of what happens in the other match.
This Thursday’s day is the penultimate of the group stage in Qatar. The following day, this Friday, the final matches of groups G and H will be played, and from Saturday the round of 16 of the tournament will be played.
What crosses and rivals can touch the “ticos”?
With the current scenario, the Costa Rican team still has a chance of qualifying first or second in the group, a position that would determine who their rival is in the round of 16.
The next phase will face the two teams with the best results from Group E with their namesakes from Group F, a sector that was already defined this Thursday with Morocco in first place and Croatia in second position.
If it remains in first place, Costa Rica would meet in the round of 16 against Croatia, the current runner-up in the world, on Monday, December 5. Meanwhile, if the Ticos advance in second position, their rival would be Morocco and they would have the game on Tuesday, December 6.