Men's National Team

Sousa’s Poland At Risk! World Cup 2022 Play-off System Explained

Poland have put themselves in a difficult position by losing at home to Hungary / PZPN
Sousa’s Poland At Risk! World Cup 2022 Play-off System Explained

WARSAW, Poland. November 15 (TVP) – The unexpected happened and now Poland’s chances at remaining seeded in the FIFA 2022 World Cup Play-offs is largely at risk. This comes after the Polish national team failed to even grab a draw with a weakened Hungary in their final group stage on Monday.

As a result, the Bialo-czerwoni no longer control their own destiny and will need to rely on results elsewhere with everything to be revealed on Tuesday. If those don’t end in favour for Paulo Sousa’s team, then such sides like Italy and Portugal will be among the potential opponents that Poland could face in the in the playoff semi-finals.

The last round of games in Group I within the World Cup qualifiers did not bring any changes to the group standings. England beat San Marino 10:0 as expected and remain in first place, which has won them direct promotion to the World Cup. The Polish national team on the other hand ended in second place.

At the PGE Narodowy stadium on Monday, the Poles primarily played against Hungary for seeding in the play-offs. A win meant that Poland would play at home against a theoretical weaker opponent in the first leg. A draw would also be sufficient. Unfortunately, a 1:2 loss has seen the worst scenario come true for Robert Lewandowski and co.

Now Paulo Sousa and his team have to wait to see the results of Tuesday’s matches. The Poles will only be seeded if these conditions are met:
– Wales will lose to Belgium at home and the Czech Republic will not defeat Estonia with more than five goals (group E)
– Turkey will not beat Montenegro and the Netherlands will lose at least two or three goals in the event of a defeat to Norway (Group G)
– Finland will not win against France by more than six goals (Group D)

World Cup 2022 Playoffs: Second-placed team standings (the top six will be seeded)
1. Portugal – 8 matches – 17 points – goal difference +11
2. Scotland – 8 matches – 17 points – goal difference +7
3. Italy – 8 matches – 16 points – goal difference +11
4. Russia – 8 matches – 16 points – goal difference +9
5. Sweden – 8 matches – 15 points – goal difference +6
6. Poland – 8 matches – 14 points – goal difference +8
.. .
7. Wales – 7 matches – 14 points – goal difference +5
8. Northern Macedonia – 8 matches – 12 points – goal difference +3
9. Turkey – 7 matches – 12 points – goal difference +1
10. Finland – 7 matches – 11 points – goal difference +2

Note: Groups that consisted of six teams have their games against the last place team not count (in the case of Poland, it is San Marino).

Play-off Rules for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar

After the end of the group stage qualifiers in November, ten of the thirteen finalists from UEFA for the FIFA 2022 World Cup will be known. The fight for the remaining three places will be played through a play-off format. There will be twelve national teams taking part in these play-offs. Nine of them, like Paulo Sousa’s side, are all teams who placed second in their groups. However, thanks to the results from the UEFA Nations League, two other teams will be added that performed weaker during the group stage.

Play-off Draw Date

When will the play-off draw take place? On Friday, November 26 in Zurich. First, there will be six games known as the play-off semi-finals. The seeded teams will play at home. The winner of each game will advance to one of the three play-off finals. A draw will also decide who will host these decisive matches.

Who will Poland play with in the play-offs?

The play-offs will be played in March, eight months before the World Cup starts in Qatar. The play-0ff semi-finals will take place on Thursday, March 24, and the play-off finals on Tuesday, March 29.

Who Advanced to the play-off stage?

– Seeded teams:
Italy
Portugal
Russia
Scotland

– Teams not seeded
North Macedonia
Austria

– Teams that could be seeded or not depending on the results
POLAND
Czech Republic
Sweden
Wales

The rest of the teams that will compete for a play-off spot on Tuesday, November 16
Group D: Finland (11) or Ukraine (9)
Group G: Netherlands (20) or Turkey (18) or Norway (18)
Group E: Wales (14) and Czech Republic (11). Both teams will play in the play-offs, but the final group stage qualifier will decide which takes second place in the group and which side will play thanks to UEFA Nations League ranking

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