The outcome of Group F remains unclear going into its final matches. In theory, all four of the teams have at least a slight chance of advancing to the round of 16. Germany's fate could even be decided by a lottery.
Mexico are top of the table going into Wednesday's final Group F games, with six points and a positive goal differential of two. Germany and Sweden are tied for second with three points and an even goal differential, while South Korea trail in fourth with zero points and -2 goals.
According to FIFA's website, if two or more teams finish level on points in any group the final standings are to be determined by the following criteria:
- greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
- goal difference in all group matches;
- greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
If these fail to resolve the deadlock, five more steps come into play:
- greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
- goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
- greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
- greater number of points obtained in the fair play conduct of the teams based on yellow and red cards received in all group matches (fair-play rule);
- drawing of lots by FIFA officials.
What does this mean for Germany?
Without going through all of the scenarios, the best case would be for Joachim Löw's men to beat South Korea by two or more goals, Germany would be through to the round of 16 no matter what else happened. However, should they lose by two or more, they'd be out.
What happens if Germany win by one?
This depends on the match between Mexico and Sweden. If Sweden fail to win, Germany and Mexico will advance, if Sweden win by more than one goal, they win the group, Germany go through in second.
Would a draw be enough?
Indeed, a draw would be enough for Germany – if Sweden lose to Mexico, or Sweden and Mexico play to lower-scoring draw.
Germany could even advance if they lose to South Korea, but this is highly unlikely. It would only be possible if Germany, South Korea and Sweden all finished tied on points, and Germany either had a better fair-play score or got lucky in a lottery.