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How can Argentina qualify for the knockout round?

Lionel Messi and Argentina are ALIVE after Nigeria win, but they still need help to get out of the World Cup group stage.

Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Argentina lost to Croatia 3-0 on Thursday, putting them in an incredibly difficult position to advance out of Group D. It also has people asking: Is Argentina out of the 2018 World Cup?

After two games, Argentina sit on one point. Croatia are at six points with two games played. Iceland have one point, and Nigeria have three points, after Nigeria dispatched Iceland on Friday.

This is huge for Argentina. They needed a Nigeria win or tie to stay alive, and they got it. They’re still alive, but they need help.

Here are the Group D standings after two games:

Group D

Team Points Goal Diff. Goals Scored
Team Points Goal Diff. Goals Scored
Croatia 6 5 5
Nigeria 3 0 2
Iceland 1 -2 1
Argentina 1 -3 1

Argentina got some help, and now their path to advancement is simple:

  1. Argentina need to beat Nigeria
  2. Croatia need to beat or tie Iceland


  1. If both Argentina and Iceland win, Argentina need to beat Nigeria by more one more goal than Iceland beat Croatia. (So if Iceland win 1-0, Argentina would need to win 2-0, etc.)

In that case, goal difference would be the same, but Argentina would have scored more goals. (The second tiebreaker.) If you need a reminder, this is how all the World Cup group stage tiebreakers work.

Argentina isn’t dead quite yet, but they need some help if Lionel Messi and Co. want to get out of this.