With the convincing 3 – 0 victory over Argentina last night Croatia have qualified for the second round the World Cup for the first time since 1998. Croatia are almost certain winners of group D, however with Nigeria’s win over Iceland things have got more complicated and Croatia might not win the group.
All three teams, Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria, have a chance of progressing into the final rounds.
With a win over Nigeria the South Americans could join Croatia in the second round, provided that Iceland don’t beat Croatia. If Argentina beat Nigeria and Iceland beat Croatia then the two national teams will have the same number of points then goal difference will decide who comes second in the group. Currently Iceland have a slightly better goal difference than Argentina, so if they want to pass Iceland they’ll have to beat Nigeria by one more goal than Iceland over Croatia.
Nigeria could still win the group. If Nigeria beat Argentina and Croatia lose to Iceland then Nigeria will be group winners and Croatia will be second. However, Nigeria will have to beat Argentina by a healthy margin to better Croatia’s goal difference which is currently plus five. The Super Eagles could pass in second if they draw with Argentina and Croatia beat Iceland. Iceland need to beat Croatia to have any chance of progressing into the second round.