Greece in control of second place in Group H
After matchday six action in Group H of FIFA World Cup qualifying, Greece remain in control of second place, which leads to a spot in the playoffs. AGONAsport brings you all the details.
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After a goalless draw in Zenica, Greece maintained their one point lead over Bosnia in Group H of FIFA World Cup qualifying. Greece sit in second place with 12 points while Bosnia are third with 11 points. First placed Belgium increased their lead to four points ahead of Greece (16 points) after a 0-2 win away to Estonia on Friday. Four games remain in group H action which will conclude in October.
A reminder that each first placed team from the nine groups will qualify for the World Cup while the eight best second placed teams (out of nine) will go to a two-legged playoff for the final four spots in Russia 2018. The second placed teams are ranked based on the points they accumulate in their respective groups, but DO NOT count any points gained from the last placed teams in each group, in Greece’s case this is Gibraltar. As of now, Greece are the sixth best second placed team and would play in the playoffs if qualifying ended today.
As for the outlook in Group H, Greece control their fate for second spot in the group. Four wins from the final four matches will give Greece second place without not having to rely on any other group results. In their remaining four matches, Greece have three games at home (Estonia, Belgium, Gibraltar) and one away fixture in Cyprus. On the other hand, Bosnia have tricky away tests in Cyprus and Estonia while still having to go to Gibraltar and host a top class Belgian side.
If Greece were to contest first place, they will need to win their remaining matches including a home fixture against Belgium in early September. Granted that Greece defeat Estonia and Belgium defeat Gibraltar in matchday seven, a Greek win over Belgium will pull the Ethniki within one point of first place with three games remaining. The Greeks will then hope for a Belgium slip up in the remaining matches and their trip to Zenica against Bosnia houses the greatest possibility of lost points from Belgium.
Since this is a FIFA and not a UEFA competition, the first tiebreaker is goal differential and not head-to-head results. The second criteria is goals scored and then if all is square, head-to-head results break the tie.
One thing is certain, there will be an exciting finale to Group H...
For full Group H standings and fixtures click here...