Belfast Telegraph

Win, lose or draw – what could happen to England after the Panama game?

England are one win away from reaching the last 16.

England are one win away from reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate’s side could secure qualification when they take on Panama on Sunday in their second Group G game.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at what each outcome would mean for the Three Lions.

England beat Panama

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England are a win away from the last 16 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Qualification will be secured with a game to spare, setting up a final clash with Belgium on Thursday which will decide the group winners. Southgate’s side currently have a goal difference of one – Belgium’s is six – so a win against the Red Devils would likely be needed to finish top.

England draw with Panama

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Gareth Southgate’s side would not secure qualification with a draw (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A place in the last 16 will be close, but not certain. They would still need a point against Belgium but a defeat in that final game, coupled with a Panama win over Tunisia, could leave England vulnerable on goal difference. Panama’s goal difference is currently minus three.

England lose to Panama

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England missed plenty of chances to boost their goal difference in the first game (Tim Goode/PA)

England and Panama would go into the final game on three points, meaning whoever got the better result in their respective final fixtures would qualify. If both teams win they would be left in a three-way tie with Belgium, with the two teams with the best goal difference going through.

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