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June 14, 2021
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2014 WORLD CUP GROUP PLAY UPDATE: Who’s in, who’s out

Two matches have been completed, and here’s how they stand. At least I think this is how they stand…. 2014-FIFA-World-Cup-soccer-trophy-jpg (1)Two teams advance to the knockout round and two teams go home from each group. The knockout bracket pairings look like this:

Winner Group A (Brazil) vs Runner Up Group B (Chile) Winner Group B (Netherlands) vs Runner Up Group A (Mexico)

Winner Group C vs Runner Up Group D Winner Group D vs Runner Up Group C

Winner Group E vs Runner Up Group F Winner Group F vs Runner Up Group E

Winner Group G vs Runner Up Group H Winner Group H vs Runner Up Group G

See the full bracket and how the matches line up here.

Tie-breakers go like this…

  1. Total points
  2. Goal differential
  3. Total goals scored
  4. Head to head
  5. Drawing of lots


Knockout Round: Brazil, Mexico advance on points; Brazil wins group on goal differential

Eliminated: Croatia, Cameroon


Knockout Round: Netherlands wins the group on points, Chile advances on points

Eliminated: Australia, Spain


Knockout Round: Colombia

Eliminated: Nobody

This could get messy, but not likely. Japan is at a distinct disadvantage having to play Columbia, while Ivory Coast gets Greece.

A win puts Ivory Coast through, and eliminates Japan and Greece.

If Ivory Coast gets a draw vs Greece, Greece is eliminated. If Japan wins, then goal differential might not break the tie with Ivory Coast, and I’m not even going to attempt to explain the tiebreakers that kick in after that. If Japan draws or loses, Ivory Coast is through.

If Ivory Coast loses, then Greece would advance if Japan loses or draws. If Japan wins, they likely advance on goal differential over Greece.

This is taken care of on June 24.


Knockout Round: Costa Rica

Eliminated: England

As simple as it gets. Italy needs a win or a draw. Uraguay needs a win. They play each other June 24 at noon on ESPN.

Costa Rica will likely win the group, which means whoever finishes 2nd probably gets Colombia.


Knockout Round: France

Eliminated: Honduras (not really, but pretty much)

Ecuador needs a win vs France. While possible, it is unlikely that Switzerland also wins AND makes up the goal differential with Ecuador. In this scenario all three teams (Fr, Ec, Sw) end up with 6 points, but France would easily advance on goal differential.

If Ecuador draws, Switzerland advances with a win over Honduras. If Switzerland draws vs Honduras, Ecuador advances on goal differential.

If Ecuador loses, Switzerland can advance with either a win or draw. If Switzerland loses, Ecuador probably advances (see next scenario).

If Ecuador loses, then Honduras can advance with a win and a combined goal differential between their win and Ecuador’s loss of 5 goals. That will be a pretty tough task with Switzerland playing for their lives. (Thanks to a commenter for correcting this)

The runner up from this group will likely get Argentina in the next round.

This all gets settled June 25.


Knockout Round: Argentina

Eliminated: Boznia-Herzegovina

Argentina  is through, but wins the group with a win or a draw vs Nigeria. A draw gets Nigeria through and eliminates Iran. If Nigeria wins, they win the group.

If Nigeria loses, then Iran could advance if they win AND make up the goal differential, which is ONLY 2 right now. That could be easily done. This is another case where the tie-breaker after goal differential needs to be understood.

This will get settled June 25.


Knockout Round: Nobody

Eliminated: Nobody

We now know why this was called the group of death.

It’s giving us all heart attacks.

A win vs the US and Germany is through.

A draw between the US and Germany eliminates both Portugal and Ghana. Klinsmann has already said that the US would not agree with Germany to play for a tie. Ummmmm……why not? Hopefully that’s just what he’s saying publicly. If the match is square with 15-20 minutes to play, I’m hoping both teams start winking and nodding at each other.

A US win (yes, I said that) would send them through, and likely Germany, as Germany’s advantage on goal differential is too great.

These two matches take place at the same time, so the US will be really big Portugal fans because of goal differential. Should the US lose, either winner would tie on points and Ghana is only 2 goals behind the US, who has a 5 goal advantage on Portugal. Here’s a great tweet and pic that gives the breakdown:

So here you go…

If the US loses by 1 goal, and Ghana wins by 1 goal (if either of those numbers flips to 2, the US is out), then goal differential is tied and total goals scored will be the next tie-breaker.  The US has 4 goals so far, Ghana 3. At that point Ghana needs to score 2 more goals than the US to advance. If the US and Ghana are still tied after that, then the US will advance because they beat Ghana in their group match.

A draw between Portugal and Ghana sends Germany and the US through.

This will get sorted out on June 26.


Knockout Round: Belgium

Eliminated: Nobody

This group will be a fun watch.

Belgium is through, but needs a win or a draw vs South Korea to secure first place in the group.

A win against Russia and Algeria is through, and has a chance to take 1st in the group if Belgium stumbles. This also eliminates South Korea.

If Russia beats Algeria, they need South Korea to lose or draw against Belgium to advance cleanly.

If South Korea wins, they will also need a Russian win or draw, then some goal differential help in order to advance. The advanced tie-breakers could come into play here. A draw against Belgium eliminates South Korea.

This will get settled June 26.

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