Ahead of the final decisive games in Group D, we examine what each team must do to qualify for the second round and predict how it will all finish.
Ghana: Four points (+1 Goal Difference)
Germany: Three points (+3 GD)
Serbia: Three points (0 GD)
Australia: One point (-4 GD)
June 23: 2:30 p.m. ET
Ghana vs. Germany
Australia vs. Serbia
After impressing in an opening game win over Serbia, Ghana was strangely subdued in its following match against Australia.
With the score tied at 1-1 and Australia reduced to 10 men, the Black Stars seemed reluctant to seize the initiative and go for the three points.
That leaves Ghana needing to avoid defeat to Germany in the final group game to make qualification for the knockout stage a certainty.
A win will see the African team top Group D. A draw also will if Serbia fails to beat Australia in the group’s other match, though any draw will see Ghana through to the second round.
Defeat to Germany could still mean qualification, but only if Australia beats Serbia.
The Socceroos have a significantly inferior goal difference compared to Ghana, so as long as neither game features a glut of goals, the Black Stars would limp into round two.
The best team from the opening round of games, Germany’s subsequent defeat by Serbia leaves it needing a result against Ghana in the group’s final game.
Victory will see Joachim Low’s team top Group D, while a draw should be enough provided Serbia doesn’t beat Australia in the group’s other match.
A Germany draw and an Australian win could eliminate the Germans, but the Socceroos would need to win by seven goals.
Any defeat will eliminate the three-time world champions in the first round for the first time since 1938.
Without ever really playing well, Serbia has given itself a great chance of qualifying for the second round of the World Cup.
A poor display against Ghana in the opening game was followed by a somewhat fortunate Serbian victory against the group’s top seeds Germany.
Yet Radomir Antic’s team goes into its final group game against Australia knowing that a win will guarantee a place in the knockout stage.
Serbia might even top Group D if Ghana and Germany draw in the group’s other game.
A draw would be enough for Serbia, but only if Ghana beats Germany.
Defeat will see the World Cup dark horses eliminated in the first round.
Australia’s 10 men battled to earn a 1-1 draw with Serbia and keep the Socceroos' World Cup dream alive going into Group D’s final set of matches.
However, a dream is very much what it is, as Australia needs a minor miracle to make it through.
First off, Pim Verbeek’s men must beat Serbia, which will probably require not having a player sent off for the third successive game.
Then, Australia needs Germany to lose to Ghana, which would mean the Europeans exiting the World Cup in the first round and, quite possibly, hell freezing over.
Actually, a Germany draw could see the Aussies reach the knockout stage, but only if they fire at least seven goals past Serbia’s tight defense.
Hell will remain hot and fiery, and Germany will beat Ghana to finish top of the group.
But the Black Stars will have fortune on their side as Serbia will only draw with Australia, meaning at least one African team will reach the second round.