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World Cup: Current Standings and Situation (2nd Games Complete)

For the few people like me who actually care about this sort of thing…

Clinched Advancement: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, England, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
Eliminated: Costa Rica, Iran, Ivory Coast, Poland, Paraguay, Serbia & Montenegro, Togo
Still in the Running: Angola, Australia, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, United States

Group Standings Key:
# Team (Win-Draw-Loss) Points, GD
Points: 3 for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss
GD: Goal Differential (Goals Scored minus Goals Allowed in group play)
Standings within a group are determined by points. If teams are tied in points, then the following are used as tiebreakers (in order of precedence):
1. Goal Differential
2. Total # of goals scored in the group round
3. Number of Points obtained in games between groups that’re tied (head-to-head if it’s a tie between only two teams)
4. GD in matches between groups that are tied
5. Total # of goals scored in games between the tied teams
6. Drawing of lots by FIFA

Group A:
1. Ecuador (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 5
2. Germany (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 3
3. Poland (0-0-2) 0 Points, GD: -3
4. Costa Rica (0-0-2) 0 Points, GD: -5
Situation: Ecuador & Germany have advanced regardless of what happens in 3rd Games. The two face each other in Game 3, which will determine who gets first and second seed. If the game ends in a tie, then Ecuador gets first seed based on GD. I feel sorry for Poland, in that if they were in most any other group, they’d probably still in the very least be in contention.
Prediction: Germany beats Ecuador to get the 1 seed for the group.

Group B:
1. England (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 3
2. Sweden (1-1-0) 4 Points, GD: 1
3. Trinidad & Tobago (0-1-1) 1 Point, GD: -2
4. Paraguay (0-0-2) 2 Points, GD: -2
Situation: England has automatically advanced. Sweden advances with a #1 seed if they beat England in Game 3 (which I don’t think is likely). Trinidad and Tobago faces Paraguay, who they’ll most likely beat. If that happens, and Sweden loses the game to England and the Goal Differential, Trinidad and Tobago will advance to the Round of 16.
Prediction: Trinidad & Tobago beat Paraguay by 1 goal, Sweden loses by 1. Sweden advances on Goal Differential.

Group C:
1. Argentina (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 7
2. Netherlands (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 2
3. Ivory Coast (0-0-2) 0 Points, GD: -2
4. Serbia & Montenegro (0-0-2) 0 points; GD: -7
Situation: Argentina & The Netherlands have already advanced. The two face each other in Game 3, which will determine who gets first and second seed (same situation as Germany & Ecuador in Group A).
Prediction: Argentina defeats the Netherlands in a rout and gets the 1 seed.

Group D:
1. Portugal (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 3
2. Mexico (1-1-0) 4 Points, GD: 3
3. Angola (0-1-1) 1 Point, GD: -1
4. Iran (0-0-2) 0 Points, GD: -4
Situation: Portugal has already advanced. Mexico needs a win or a tie against Portugal to advance. Should they lose, Angola would need to lose to Iran (fat chance) or win but not make up the Goal Differential. If Portugal and Mexico tie (which is very possible), Angola would need to win by five goals (which is very unlikely to happen unless Iran just decides for whatever reason to sit down on the field and let Angola win).
Prediction: Mexico pulls off a shocking 3-2 upset and grabs the 1 seed, knocking Portugal down to the 2 seed.

Group E:
1. Italy (1-1-0) 4 Points, GD: 2
2. Czech Republic (1-0-1) 3 Points, GD: 1
3. Ghana (1-0-1) 3 Points, GD: 0
4. United States (0-1-1) 1 Point, GD: -3
Situation: Ohhh boy. This is the only group where it’s wide-open. If the Czech Republic wins Game 3 against Italy, they advance with 1st seeding. If Italy beats the Czech Republic, they advance with 1st seeding. The United States needs a win against Ghana (which is not as easy as it sounds) in order to advance and for Italy to beat the Czech Republic. If the US ties with Ghana or loses, they’re out. If Italy beats the Czech Republic, Italy’s in. If Ghana beats the United States, Ghana’s in. If they tie with the United States, they’re in if Italy beats or ties with the Czech Republic (if a tie it comes down to Goal Differential between the Czech Republic and Ghana to determine who advances and who gets third place in the group). Of the four in the group, despite what you may believe from the US media, the United States has the least likely chance of advancing…a lot of things would have to fall into place for them to do so.
Prediction: The Czech Republic beats Italy by a goal and gets the 1 seed. Ghana and the United States tie, however Ghana gets knocked out due to Goal Differential.

Group F:
1. Brazil (2-0-0) 6 Points, GD: 3
2. Australia (1-0-1) 3 Points, GD: 0
3. Croatia (0-1-1) 1 Point, GD: -1
4. Japan (0-1-1) 1 Point, GD: -2
Situation: Brazil has automatically advanced. If Australia beats Croatia in Game 3, they automatically advance. If they tie with Croatia, Australia will advance unless Japan beats Brazil by four goals (I guarantee you this will NOT happen). If Croatia wins, they will advance unless Japan wins. I won’t go any further into this because Japan WILL NOT BEAT BRAZIL. End of story.
Prediction: Australia beats Croatia and advances to the Round of 16 with a 2 seed.

Group G:
1. Switzerland (1-1-0) 4 Points, GD: 2
2. South Korea (1-1-0) 4 Points, GD: 1
3. France (0-2-0) 2 Points, GD: 0
4. Togo (0-0-2) 0 Points, GD: -3
Situation: Whoever wins Game 3 between Switzerland and South Korea will get 1st seeding and automatically advances. Should they tie, and France wins, then all three teams would have 5 points and it would come down to the Goal Differential (France would have to win by two or more goals to knock out South Korea and advance). Togo is already eliminated. If France ties with or loses to Togo, they’re done…and it’s going to be hard without Zidane, who is forced to miss Game 3 due to receiving yellow cards in two consecutive games, and Cisse who is out due to a leg injury. France has barely squeaked by with two of the best players in the World (and certainly the past ten years), Henry and Zidane. Without Zidane, Cisse, and any semblance of team chemistry, France is in a LOT of trouble.
Prediction: South Korea pulls off an upset win over Switzerland and grabs the 1 seed. France ties with Togo and is knocked out of contention.

Group H:
1. Spain (2-0-0) 6 points, GD: 6
2. Ukraine (1-0-1) 3 points, GD: 0
3. Tunisia (0-1-1) 1 point, GD: -2
4. Saudi Arabia (0-1-1) 1 point, GD: -4
Situation: Spain has automatically advanced to the Round of 16. Ukraine needs to beat or tie with Tunisia to advance. If Tunisia wins, they advance and Ukraine is out. In order to advance, Saudi Arabia needs to beat Spain (unlikely), have Tunisia tie Ukraine or beat Ukraine while overcoming the GD (in which case Saudi Arabia would need to beat Spain by four or more goals – DOUBLE unlikely). This is probably the most straightforward group that doesn’t have two teams with clinched berths in the Round of 16.
Prediction: Spain and Ukraine both win, get 1 and 2 seeds respectively.

More later…

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