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World Cup 2014

This is all Greek to me but I thought our soccer fans in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, might want to know exactly how things stand in the World Cup 2014.

Ole Ole!

World Cup 2014: How Teams Can Advance to the Next Round


Who’s In, Who’s Out

GROUP ABrazilMexicoCroatiaCameroon

GROUP BNetherlandsChileAustraliaSpain

GROUP CColombiaIvory CoastJapanGreece

GROUP DCosta RicaItalyUruguayEngland

GROUP EFranceEcuadorSwitzerlandHonduras

GROUP FArgentinaNigeriaIranBos./Herz.

GROUP GGermanyUSAGhanaPortugal

GROUP HBelgiumAlgeriaRussiaS. Korea

The final matches of the World Cup’s group stage will begin on Monday. The top two teams from each of the eight groups will advance – and winning a group is better than finishing second, because the first-place team from each group will next play a second-place (and usually weaker) team from another group, in a single-elimination match.

Group B

The Netherlands and Chile have already clinched advancement to the Round of 16, but their match on Monday still matters. The team that fails to win this group and instead finishes second is likely to face Brazil, the tournament favorite, in the next round.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSNetherlands20083+56100%Chile20051+46100%Australia02036-30–Spain02017-60–

The Netherlands has clinched advancement. The Dutch have an advantage over Chile thanks to a better goal differential and will win the group by beating or tying Chile.

Chile has clinched advancement. It needs to beat the Netherlands to win the group.

Australia has been eliminated.

Spain has been eliminated.

Group A

Despite its disappointing tie with Mexico, Brazil remains in excellent position. The match between Mexico and Croatia is akin to a playoff, in which Mexico starts with a half-goal lead.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSBrazil10131+2499%Mexico10110+1463%Croatia11053+2338%Cameroon02005-50–

The short version is that Brazil advances by tying or beating Cameroon, one of the lowest-ranked teams in the tournament. But there are also some ways Brazil can advance even if it loses: if Mexico beats Croatia; or if Croatia beats Mexico and Brazil’s goal differential (now +2) remains better than Mexico’s (now +1). The easiest way for Brazil to win the group is to beat Cameroon and remain ahead of Mexico; Brazil will remain ahead if Mexico loses to Croatia, ties Croatia or wins but has its final goal differential trail Brazil’s. Unlikely as it is, Brazil would also win the group if it tied Cameroon, and Mexico and Croatia also tied.

Mexico enters its match with Croatia leading Croatia by a point in the standings and thus advances with either a win or draw. It can also advance with a loss in the improbable event that Brazil loses to Cameroon by at least two goals and Mexico ends up with a better total goal differential. Mexicowins the group by beating Croatia and having Brazil lose or tie Cameroon. Mexico can win the group if both it and Brazil win their final matches, and Mexico has a better final goal differential than Brazil.

Croatia needs to win to jump over Mexico in the standings, which would guarantee advancement. Croatia also advances by tying Mexico and having Brazil lose to Cameroon. Croatia wins the group by beating Mexico and having Brazil tie or lose.

Cameroon has been eliminated.

Group C

Colombia has advanced, and the Ivory Coast is in the best position to finish second. But there are multiple possibilities, which will make Tuesday’s simultaneous matches intriguing.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSColombia20051+46100%Ivory Coast110330372%Japan01112-1112%Greece01103-3115%

Colombia has clinched advancement. It will probably win the group, too. Only if it loses, the Ivory Coast wins and the Ivory Coast’s goal differential (now 0) ends up better than that of Colombia (now +4) will Colombia fall into second. If Colombia and the Ivory Coast have the same record and same goal differential, the team with more goals will win the group; if they have the same number of goals, Colombia will win the group because it won the head-to-head match.

The Ivory Coast’s clearest path to advancement involves beating Greece. The Ivory Coast would also advance with a tie if Colombia beats or ties Japan. If the Ivory Coast ties and Japan wins, the tiebreakers would come into effect: first, goal differential; then, goals scored; finally, their head-to-head match (which Ivory Coast won). As discussed above, the Ivory Coast can win the group only by a) winning, b) having Colombia lose and c) overcoming its current goal differential with Colombia and winning the tiebreaker.

Japan must win to advance. It also needs either a Greece win over the Ivory Coast or a Greece-Ivory Coast draw in which Japan wins the goal-differential or goals-scored tiebreaker over the Ivory Coast. (If Japan and the Ivory Coast are equal on both of those tiebreakers, the Ivory Coast advances because it beat Japan.) Japan cannot win the group.

Greece will advance if it beats the Ivory Coast and Colombia beats or ties Japan. If Greece and Japan both win, the two will be tied for second place. To advance, Greece would need to overcome its current goal-differential deficit with Japan; Greece is at -3 and Japan at -1. Greece cannot win the group.

Group D

The Italy-Uruguay match will probably be a highlight of the coming week. It’s virtually a playoff between the two, with Costa Rica having clinched advancement.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSCosta Rica20041+36100%Italy110220364%Uruguay11034-1336%England02024-20–

Costa Rica, which seemed doomed when it was placed in this group, hasadvanced. It will probably win the group, too. It would do so with a win or tie against England — or, regardless, if Italy and Uruguay tie. Even if Costa Rica loses, it will need to lose its current lead in goal differential (now +3) over the winner of the match between Italy (0) and Uruguay (-1). (For instance, if Costa Rica loses, 1-0, and Italy wins, 3-1, Italy will win the group on the tiebreaker of goals scored.)

Italy enters its match with Uruguay with a better goal differential, which means Italy will advance with either a draw or a victory. Italy can win the group, as discussed above, in some instances if it wins by at least two goals and Costa Rica loses.

Uruguay, a trendy pre-tournament pick to go far, now finds itself in the tough position of needing to beat Italy to advance. It can win the grouponly if Costa Rica loses and Uruguay routs Italy.

England has been eliminated.

Group E

France has all but clinched first place, and fans of Ecuador and Switzerland will be nervously watching both their own game and that of the other country on Wednesday.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSFrance20082+6699%Ecuador110330331%Switzerland11046-2368%Honduras02015-401%

Only a stunning turn of events would keep France from finishing first. Most simply, it wins the group by tying or winning its final match, against Ecuador. Even if France loses, only a highly improbable turn of events would keep it from winning the group. Its goal-differential is currently +6; to win the group, it merely needs to end up with a better goal differential than both Ecuador (now 0) and Switzerland (-2). To advance with a loss, France would have to have a better goal differential than only one of those two countries. (If goal differential is tied, the next tiebreaker is goals scored, followed by head-to-head results, following by “drawing of lots.”) As we said, France is in good shape.

The good news for Ecuador is that it probably needs only to match Switzerland’s result to advance: win, tie or lose. The bad news is that Ecuador faces France. One silver lining: Because France will probably win the group no matter what, it may not give the match its full effort. As is the case with Switzerland, Ecuador can technically still win the group, in much the way that you can technically win the lottery.

Despite its dismal loss to France, Switzerland remains in a decent position. It will advance with a better outcome than Ecuador in the two teams’ final matches — and while Ecuador must play France, Switzerland faces relatively low-ranked Honduras. If Switzerland and Ecuador have the same result — win, draw or loss — Switzerland will probably be eliminated, because its goal differential is now -2 and Ecuador’s is 0. To win the group, Switzerland needs one of the outlandish scenarios described previously in France’s section.

Honduras isn’t officially dead yet. But to have any chance at advancing, it needs to beat Switzerland and to have France beat Ecuador. Honduras would also need to win by enough to emerge from a three-way tiebreaker with Ecuador and Switzerland. Honduras cannot win the group.

Group F

Argentina, as expected, is in a dominant position, but there are still surprises here: Nigeria controls its fate, and Iran is alive.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSArgentina20031+26100%Nigeria10110+1485%Iran01101-1116%Bosnia/Herz.02013-20–

Argentina has clinched advancement. It wins the group by beating or tying Nigeria.

Nigeria advances a) if it ties or beats Argentina; b) if Bosnia-Herzegovina beats or ties Iran c) even in the event of a Nigeria loss and Iran win, if Nigeria wins the tiebreaker between the two. The tiebreaker order is: goal differential; goals scored; head-to-head result; and “drawing of lots.” Nigeria currently has a goal differential of +1 and has scored 1 goal, while Iran has -1 and has not scored. The two teams tied each other, 0-0. Nigeria wins the group by beating Argentina.

Iran advances and Iran beats Bosnia in a combination of scores that allows Iran to win the tiebreakers against Nigeria. (See the Nigeria entry, above, for more detail.) Iran cannot win the group.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has been eliminated.

Group G

Every team is alive, and none have clinched advancement. Germany is in the strongest position. The United States does not guarantee itself a spot in the next round unless it at least ties Germany. Ghana and Portugal both need a win, in their head-to-head match, and also need help.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSGermany10162+4499%United States10143+1478%Ghana01134-1116%Portugal01126-417%

Germany is likely to advance regardless of what it does Thursday against the United States. Germany wins the group with a victory or a tie. It advances with a loss unless it loses its current advantage in goal differential to the winner of the Ghana-Portugal match; Germany’s differential is now +4, compared with -1 for Ghana and -4 for Portugal.

The United States advances with a tie or win against Germany. If the United States loses, it will be rooting for anything but a Ghana win in the Ghana-Portugal match because Ghana is in a better tiebreaker position than Portugal. The United States, regardless of what it does, advances with a tie between Ghana and Portugal; if Portugal wins, Portugal is likely to lose the tiebreaker to the United States, whereas Ghana has a decent chance to win the tiebreaker over the United States. The United States wins the group with a win over Germany. For even more, see this detailed Upshot post by David Leonhardt.

Ghana needs to win and will be rooting for Germany over the United States. If Ghana wins and the United States loses, the two will be tied, and Ghana will be in solid position for the goal-differential tiebreaker (it will advance if it wins by more than a goal, or if the U.S. loses by more than a goal). Ghana cannot win the group.

Portugal is in trouble. To have any chance of advancing, it needs a win over Ghana and not a draw in the Germany-United States match. If Portugal wins, it will be tied with the loser of the Germany-United States match, if there is one. But Portugal (goal differential: -4) will have trouble winning the tiebreaker against Germany (goal differential: +4) or the United States (+1). Portugal cannot win the group.

Group H

Algeria could join Costa Rica as one of the biggest surprise survivors of the first round if it can tie or beat Russia. Russia will probably advance if Algeria does not. Belgium, as predicted, will emerge from the group regardless.WLDGFGA+/-PTSPREDICTWISE ODDSBelgium20031+26100%Algeria11054+1353%Russia01112-1146%South Korea01135-211%

Belgium has clinched advancement and wins the group with a tie or victory against South Korea.

Algeria advances with a win against Russia. It advances with a tie unless South Korea beats Belgium by enough to overcome its current deficit in goal differential with Algeria (-2 vs. +1). Algeria wins the group if it beats Russia and South Korea beats Belgium.

Russia advances with a win over Algeria and a Belgium win or tie against South Korea. If Russia and South Korea both win, they will be tied. Russia (with a goal differential of -1) is currently in better position than South Korea (-2). Russia cannot win the group.

South Korea needs a win and help to advance. For starters, it needs a victory over Belgium and something other than an Algeria victory over Russia. If South Korea and Russia both win, South Korea will need to win a tiebreaker against Russia. If South Korea wins and Russia ties Algeria, South Korea will need to win a tiebreaker against Algeria. South Korea will be rooting for Russia, which is in worse shape for a tiebreaker than Algeria.

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