England can lose 3-0 against Wales – and STILL qualify for World Cup 2022 knockouts

England can lose 3-0 against Wales – and STILL qualify for World Cup 2022 knockouts: Gareth Bale of Wales poses during the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 portrait session on November 16, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Adam Pretty - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

England and Wales play each other next week in World Cup 2022 – and the Welsh could beat England 3-0 and still not dump them out of the tournament.

The Three Lions have four points on the board, after a 6-2 victory over Iran and a goalless draw against United States. Iran, meanwhile, have three points, the US have two points and Wales have one. 

Due to goal difference, however, there's a swing of four goals needed for the English to be sent home at the group stage, with other results going against the Welsh to stop them from progressing to the next round. 

England's draw with the United States was a drab affair in which the Three Lions might count themselves lucky to have got away with just a point. Gareth Southgate's side started off holding onto possession nicely, taking the sting out of the United States press, with Harry Kane having the Three Lions’ first chance after nine minutes, which deflected out for a corner – a few minutes later, he wound up for a bicycle kick to connect with a Bukayo Saka cross but didn’t meet the chance. 

But the US grew into it. England were given plenty of warnings with Weston McKennie chances before Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic rattled the crossbar. The England defence weren’t quick enough to close down the United States forward line and when Pulisic cut in on his right foot, his effort from the edge of the penalty area looked as though it took a touch off Pickford before shaking the woodwork from a difficult angle. 

Weston McKennie of USA controls the ball under pressure from Mason Mount and Mason Mount of England during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and USA at Al Bayt Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.

Weston McKennie of USA controls the ball under pressure from Mason Mount (Image credit: Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)

The second half wasn't much better for the English. Harry Maguire had to clear multiple corners with his head up until the hour mark, with England struggling to get a foot on the ball, up until Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson came on for England to replace Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham. 

Before the game, much of the talk was about FIFA’s banning of the OneLove armband with ITV pundit Gary Neville condemning the governing body

“It’s what I expect the FA would say, they’re a risk-averse organisation, always have been,” said Neville of the FA’s response to pulling out from the protest, “Doesn’t surprise me that FIFA have acted this way, they’re a rogue organisation and in this tournament, we’ve probably seen them at their worst. They don’t need to be that way, they represent world football – what’s an armband going to do to harm FIFA?” 

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.