World Cup 2022: Potential routes to final for Spain

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group E - Spain v Costa Rica - Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar - November 23, 2022 Spain's Gavi celebrates scoring their fifth goal with teammates REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Nov 25 (Reuters) - Spain are looking to win their second World Cup title at the Nov. 20-Dec. 18 tournament in Qatar. Here is what you need to know about their possible routes to the final:

HOW CAN SPAIN QUALIFY FOR THE ROUND OF 16?

* The top two in each World Cup group advance to the last 16. The knockout rounds begin on Dec. 3 and can go to extra time and then penalties to decide the winner.

* Spain are top of Group E on three points having beaten Costa Rica 7-0. Japan, who also have three points, are second with a goal difference of one following a 2-1 win over Germany.

* If Spain beat Germany on Sunday, they will qualify for the round of 16.

WHO ARE SPAIN'S POTENTIAL OPPONENTS IN THE ROUND OF 16?

* If Spain qualify for the round of 16, they will be pitted against a team from Group F - Belgium, Croatia, Morocco or Canada.

* If Spain finish as runners-up in Group E, their round of 16 tie will be against the winners of Group F, potentially Belgium or 2018 finalists Croatia.

* If Spain win Group E, their round of 16 tie will be against the runners-up of Group F.

WHO ARE SPAIN'S POTENTIAL OPPONENTS IN THE QUARTER-FINALS?

* If Spain win Group E, they could encounter Brazil in the quarter-finals, provided the five-times champions win Group G and beat the runners-up from Group H - Portugal, South Korea, Uruguay or Ghana.

* If Spain finish as Group E runners-up, they will likely face Portugal in the quarter-finals, if the Euro 2016 winners are able to win Group H and beat the runners-up from Group G - Brazil, Switzerland, Cameroon or Serbia.

WHO ARE SPAIN'S POTENTIAL OPPONENTS IN THE SEMI-FINALS?

* If Spain were to make it to the semi-finals as Group E winners, they could potentially face either the Netherlands or two-times World Cup winners Argentina.

* If Spain reach the semi-finals as Group E runners-up, they could be up against either England or 2018 champions France.

WHO COULD SPAIN FACE IN THE FINAL?

* If Spain go all the way to the final as Group E winners, they could potentially find themselves taking on France on Dec. 18.

* If Spain are able to make it to the final as Group E runners-up, they could instead be facing off against Brazil.

Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.