Second round spots in view for the Netherlands, Ecuador and England at World Cup

AFP/File

The stakes are set to rise on Friday in Groups A and B with England, Ecuador and the Netherlands able to progress to the last 16 at the World Cup with victories while hosts Qatar face the prospect of elimination should they lose to Senegal.

Wales and Iran launch the action on the sixth day of competition at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. Wales, playing their first match at the World Cup since 1958, salvaged a 1-1 draw against the United States in Group B on Monday night after Iran had been dispatched 6-2 by England.

"Iran are a good team," said Wales skipper Gareth Bale.

"They're not at the World Cup for no reason. It will be a physical and mental challenge but we're ready for it. They need to win and we need to win so it should be an exciting game."

England will take top spot in Group B should they see off a United States side that will be smarting over its failure to capitalise more ruthlessly on its first half domination over Wales.

"We've been working over the past three and a half years on our style of play and how we want to execute it on the field," said US boss Gregg Berhalter.

"We think there are areas that we can exploit and where we can hurt England. We know they're a good team and that they have threats.

"We're going to have to be cautious about those threats but we want to play our game."

"We know they'll be highly motivated so we've got to be at our best.


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