Daily Archives: June 22, 2010

World Cup: Final Group Games

Diego Forlan

Good morning! Are you excited for the final group games? But aren’t sure who needs to win what to go on in what position? Thought so… grab your coffee/tea and read on.

FIFA World Cup tiebreakers are:
1) Goal Difference, 2) Total Goals, 3) Head-to-head, 4) Goal difference in the games between the tied teams, 5) Goals scored in the games between the tied teams.

Got it? Good. Here are today’s games.

Group A
Uruguay: 4 pts., +3 GD, 3 GS
Mexico: 4 pts., +2 GD, 3 GS
France: 1 pt., -2 GD, 0 GS
South Africa: 1, -3 GD, 1 GS

Uruguay will go through if they beat or draw Mexico. Even if Uruguay loses 1-0, France has to win by four or more goals, or South Africa by five plus, for the South Americans not to advance. If Uruguay gets blown out, the abacus has to come out.

Same for Mexico: win or draw and they are through.  A small loss still gives them a chance, as either France or South Africa have to win by three and four points at least, respectively.

Expect Mexico to play for the win, in order to avoid an on-form Argentina.

Prediction: Uruguay draws Mexico. They advance 1,2. France goes home to face the music, while South Africa stay home, yet the rest of us are still forced to listen to the awful “music” of their fans.

Group B
Argentina: 6 pts., +4 GD, 5 GS
South Korea: 3 pts., -1 GD, 3 GS
Greece: 3 pts., -1 GD, 2 GS
Nigeria: 0 pts., -2 GD, 1 GS

Deep breath. OK. If Argentina win or tie Greece, Argentina wins the group. If Greece beats Argentina by three or more goals, Greece is through. If that happens, and South Korea loses, Greece wins the group.  Don’t hold that breath you just took.

A South Korea win — and a Greek win of less than three goals — means the South Koreans go through. If everyone draws, Argentina is through, Nigeria is out and it comes down to how many goals are scored tomorrow between the Greeks and the Koreans.

Nigeria can advance by a win by more than a goal, and a Greek loss.

Prediction: Argentina is resting some players, but it’s still a talented squad. Argentina beats Greece to win the group, South Korea beats Nigeria to take second.

Saturday’s games: Uruguay vs. South Korea, Argentina vs. Mexico.

Brent Lanthier

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Portugal win laugher, Spain & Chile also victorious

There were goals aplenty for Portugal in its match against North Korea, a 7-0 whitewash that eliminated Kim Jong-Il’s crew (probably only the second-biggest story in that country today) and all-but guaranteed that Ronaldo and company will be joining Brazil in the next round.  Even Didier Drogba’s firepower isn’t likely to be enough for Ivory Coast to overcome its goal difference woes and escape this Group of Death, another African casualty ready to be wheeled in to the World Cup morgue.

Wacky refereeing was the story in Chile’s 1-0 victory over 10-man Switzerland in the second match of the day as South American teams remained unbeaten. You might have thought, given the history of this Chile team and it’s appearance at the U-20 World Cup in Canada a few years back, that it would have been them who lost their cool when the cards started flying thick and fast, but it was Switzerland’s Volan Behrami who was sent packing, and Steve Von Bergen resorting to handbag tactics in the second half. The Swiss held their ground long enough to establish a World Cup record for minutes played without conceding, but couldn’t keep the hard-charging Chileans at bay. Even with six points, Marcelo Bielsa’s team is not guaranteed a berth in the knockout round, and will have to be more clinical in its finishing to survive Spain and, should it advance, the cream of Group G.

Finally, the aforementioned Spaniards turned on the style against Honduras in the late game, posting a 2-0 victory thanks to a brace from David Villa, who also missed a penalty. Fernando Torres failed to impress but this was more like it from the reigning European champions, who can still top their group by beating Chile in Pretoria on Friday, a game that could be an cracker. Coach Vincente Del Bosque sees room for improvement, with Villa’s behaviour one area that could be brushed up, but this should keep the critics at bay, which is more than can be said for Nigeria’s Sani Kaita. Really people, it’s only football.

Ian Harrison

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