Paul Marcuccitti


 
Paul Marcuccitti is a passionate soccer fan from Australia who will share his views about the World Cup in this column.

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The possible outcomes for your team: Part II



    And now to Part II of the possible outcomes series - a couple of articles devoted to people as deranged as I am. But first, with your indulgence, I'd like to have a really big whinge.

    Why is it that more than a few commentators - who you'd think would know better - continue to say that teams are going to be eliminated at the end of a game when they actually won't be? (Or that teams have qualified for the next round when they actually haven't?)

    Now, you could have watched the Mexico-Ecuador match anywhere in the world so I don't know who brought the game to you but Australians heard a commentator tell them (at least twice) that Ecuador would be "eliminated" if it lost to Mexico and that a win for the Mexicans would put them through to the next round. Fortunately, after the match finished, the chaps in the studio got it right. Although their position is rather bleak, the Ecuadorians have not been eliminated yet.

    It is possible for a team to qualify for the Second Round with one win and two losses because three teams in a group can each record one win and two losses - one of them must advance. Similarly, three teams can each score two wins and one loss so Mexico isn't in the last 16 yet. In 1994, two of the six groups at the World Cup finals ended with three teams on two wins and a loss. They all qualified for the next round because, in that tournament, the four best third place getters were allowed through to the last 16. But if it happens in Group G, make no mistake, someone (possibly even Mexico) is going home with two wins.

    All of this seems so obvious to me, yet a bloke who is, presumably, getting paid to inform the watching public gets it so wrong. So if you happen to be reading this Alan Parry, please do your homework in the future and don't mislead the viewers again. Then again, I suppose you are not the first and will not be the last.

    Anyway, now that I have that off my chest, it's time for a few statistics: After every team had played twice, no team had wrapped up victory in its group while at the same stage of France '98, two teams (France and Nigeria) had already won their group. Only two teams were already sure of a place in the Round of 16 (Brazil and Spain) - that's down from seven at the same stage of France '98. Finally, five countries were already eliminated - down from six at France '98.

    So that's a whopping 25 countries (out of 32) that are going into (or went into) their last match with the possibility of both survival and elimination - up from 19 at France '98. And not one of the last 16 group matches is (or has been) a meaningless game. Fantastic!

On to Groups C, D, G & H. The same caveats apply.


GROUP C

                P  W  D  L   Gls  Pts
Brazil          2  2  0  0   6-1    6
Costa Rica      2  1  1  0   3-1    4
Turkey          2  0  1  1   2-3    1
China           2  0  0  2   0-6    0
BRAZIL

    Will win group: If it defeats or draws with Costa Rica. Brazil has already qualified for the Second Round.

COSTA RICA

Will win group: If it defeats Brazil.

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats or draws with Brazil; Or if it loses to Brazil and Turkey fails to defeat China; Or if it loses to Brazil and Turkey defeats China but the combined margin of the two matches is not three or more goals (e.g. Brazil 1 Costa Rica 0 and Turkey 2 China 0 would eliminate Costa Rica); Or if it loses to Brazil and Turkey defeats China and the combined margin of the two matches is three goals but Turkey does not score more goals than Costa Rica (e.g. Brazil 3 Costa Rica 2 and Turkey 2 China 0).

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to Brazil and Turkey defeats China and the combined margin of the two matches is four goals or more; Or if it loses to Brazil and Turkey defeats China and the combined margin of the two matches is three goals and Turkey scores at least two more goals than Costa Rica.

TURKEY

Turkey can not win the group.

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats China and Brazil defeats Costa Rica and the combined margin of the two matches is at least four goals; Or if it defeats China and Brazil defeats Costa Rica and the combined margin of the two matches is three goals provided that Turkey scores at least two more goals than Costa Rica.

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to or draws with China; Or if it defeats China but Costa Rica defeats or draws with Brazil; Or if it defeats China and Costa Rica loses to Brazil and the combined margin of the two matches is two goals; Or if it defeats China and Costa Rica loses to Brazil and the combined margin of the two matches is three goals and Turkey does not score more goals than Costa Rica.

CHINA

China has already been eliminated.


GROUP D

                P  W  D  L   Gls  Pts
South Korea     2  1  1  0   3-1    4
USA             2  1  1  0   4-3    4
Portugal        2  1  0  1   6-3    3
Poland          2  0  0  2   0-6    0
SOUTH KOREA

    Will win group: If it defeats Portugal and the USA does not defeat Poland; Or if it defeats Portugal and the USA defeats Poland and the USA does not win by a bigger margin than South Korea wins by; Or if it defeats Portugal by one goal less than the USA defeats Poland by provided that South Korea scores at least two more goals than the USA (e.g. South Korea 4 Portugal 3 and USA 2 Poland 0); Or if it draws with Portugal and the USA fails to defeat Poland.

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats or draws with Portugal; Or if it loses to Portugal and the USA loses to Poland and South Korea does not lose by a greater margin than Poland loses by; Or if loses to Portugal by one more goal than the USA loses to Poland by provided that South Korea scores at least two more goals than Poland (e.g. Portugal 4 South Korea 2 and Poland 1 USA 0).

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to Portugal and the USA defeats or draws with Poland; Or if it loses to Portugal and the USA loses to Poland and South Korea loses by a bigger margin than the USA loses by; Or if it loses to Portugal by one more goal than the USA loses to Poland by and South Korea fails to score more goals than the USA (e.g. Portugal 2 South Korea 0 and Poland 1 USA 0).

USA

    Will win group: If it defeats Poland and South Korea does not defeat Portugal; Or if it defeats Poland by at least two more goals than South Korea defeats Portugal by; Or if it defeats Poland by one more goal than South Korea defeats Portugal by provided that South Korea does not score more goals than the USA (e.g. USA 2 Poland 0 and South Korea 1 Portugal 0). Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats or draws with Poland; Or if it loses to Poland and Portugal loses to South Korea; Or if it loses to Poland and Portugal defeats South Korea by two more goals than Poland defeats the USA by (e.g. Portugal 3 South Korea 0 and Poland 1 USA 0); Or if it loses to Poland by one more goal than South Korea loses to Portugal by provided that South Korea does not score more goals than the USA.

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to Poland and Portugal and South Korea draw; Or if it loses to Poland and Portugal defeats South Korea unless Portugal defeats South Korea by at least two more goals than Poland defeats the USA by; Or if it loses to Poland and Portugal defeats South Korea unless Portugal defeats South Korea by one more goal than Poland defeats the USA by and South Korea does not score more goals than Poland (e.g. Portugal 2 South Korea 0 and Poland 1 USA 0 would mean that the USA survives).

PORTUGAL

    Will win group: If it defeats South Korea and the USA fails to defeat Poland.

Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats South Korea; Or if it draws with South Korea and the USA loses to Poland.

Will be eliminated: If it loses to South Korea; Or if it draws with South Korea and the USA defeats or draws with Poland.

POLAND

Poland has already been eliminated.


GROUP G

                P  W  D  L   Gls  Pts
Mexico          2  2  0  0   3-1    6
Italy           2  1  0  1   3-2    3
Croatia         2  1  0  1   2-2    3
Ecuador         2  0  0  2   1-4    0
MEXICO

Will win group: If it defeats or draws with Italy.

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats or draws with Italy; Or if it loses to Italy and Croatia fails to defeat Ecuador; Or if it loses to Italy by one goal and Croatia defeats Ecuador by one goal and Croatia does not score at least two more goals than Mexico (e.g. Italy 1 Mexico 0 and Croatia 2 Ecuador 1 would eliminate Mexico).

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to Italy and Croatia defeats Ecuador and the combined margin of the two matches is three or more goals; Or if it loses to Italy by one goal and Croatia defeats Ecuador by one goal and Croatia scores at least two more goals than Mexico.

ITALY

    Will win group: If it defeats Mexico and Croatia fails to defeat Ecuador; Or if it defeats Mexico and Croatia defeats Ecuador provided that Croatia does not win by a bigger margin than Italy does (e.g. Italy 1 Mexico 0 and Croatia 2 Ecuador 0 would see Croatia win the group).

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats Mexico; Or if it draws with Mexico and Croatia fails to defeat Ecuador; Or if it loses to Mexico and Ecuador defeats Croatia provided that Italy doesn't lose by a bigger margin than Croatia loses by* and also provided that the combined margin of the two games is not five goals or more (e.g. Mexico 2 Italy 0 and Ecuador 3 Croatia 0 would eliminate Italy); Or if it loses to Mexico and Ecuador defeats Croatia and Italy doesn't lose by a bigger margin than Croatia loses by* and the combined margin of the two games is four goals but Ecuador does not score at least three more goals than Italy (e.g. Mexico 2 Italy 0 and Ecuador 2 Croatia 0). *In these scenarios, Italy can qualify if it loses by only one more goal than Croatia loses by but only if Croatia does not score more goals than Italy (e.g. Mexico 2 Italy 0 and Ecuador 1 Croatia 0 would mean that Italy qualified but Mexico 2 Italy 0 and Ecuador 2 Croatia 1 would mean Italy being eliminated).

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to Mexico and Croatia does not lose to Ecuador; Or if it loses to Mexico by a bigger margin than Croatia loses to Ecuador by; Or if it loses to Mexico by the same margin that Croatia loses to Ecuador by and Croatia scores more goals than Italy; Or if it loses to Mexico and Croatia loses to Ecuador and the combined margin of the two games is five goals or more; Or if it loses to Mexico and Croatia loses to Ecuador and the combined margin of the two games is four goals and Ecuador scores at least three more goals than Italy; Or if it draws with Mexico and Croatia defeats Ecuador.

CROATIA

    Will win group: If it defeats Ecuador and Italy defeats Mexico provided that Croatia wins by at least two more goals than Italy wins by (e.g. Croatia 3 Ecuador 0 and Italy 1 Mexico 0); Or if it defeats Ecuador by one more goal than Italy defeats Mexico by provided that Croatia also scores one more goal than Italy (e.g. Croatia 2 Ecuador 0 and Italy 1 Mexico 0 would put Croatia top but Croatia 2 Ecuador 0 and Italy 2 Mexico 1 would put Italy on top).

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats Ecuador by at least two goals; Or if it defeats Ecuador by one goal provided that Italy doesn't defeat Mexico by a single goal; Or if it defeats Ecuador by one goal and Italy defeats Mexico by one goal and the Croatia-Ecuador result is a higher scoring one (e.g. Croatia 2 Ecuador 1 and Italy 1 Mexico 0 would mean qualification for Croatia but Croatia 1 Ecuador 0 and Italy 1 Mexico 0 would mean elimination); Or if it draws with Ecuador and Mexico defeats Italy; Or if it loses to Ecuador by one goal and Mexico defeats Italy by at least three goals; Or if it loses to Ecuador by one goal and Mexico defeats Italy by two goals provided that Croatia scores more goals than Italy (e.g. Mexico 2 Italy 0 and Ecuador 2 Croatia 1).

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to Ecuador by at least two goals; Or if it loses to Ecuador and Italy draws with or defeats Mexico; Or if it loses to Ecuador by one goal and Mexico defeats Italy by only one goal; Or if it loses to Ecuador by one goal and Mexico defeats Italy by two goals and Croatia fails to score more goals than Italy; Or if it draws with Ecuador and Italy draws with or defeats Mexico; Or if it defeats Ecuador by one goal and Italy defeats Mexico by one goal and Croatia fails to score at least two more goals than Mexico.

ECUADOR

Ecuador can not win the group.

    Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats Croatia by at least two goals and Mexico defeats Italy and the combined margin of the two matches is at least five goals; Or if it defeats Croatia by at least two goals and Mexico defeats Italy and the combined margin of the two matches is four goals provided that Ecuador scores at least three more goals than Italy.

    Will be eliminated: If it loses to or draws with Croatia; Or if it only defeats Croatia by one goal; Or if it defeats Croatia by two or more goals and Italy does not lose to Mexico; Or if it defeats Croatia by two or more goals and Mexico defeats Italy and the combined margin of the two games is less than four goals; Or if it defeats Croatia by two or more goals and Mexico defeats Italy and the combined margin of the two games is four goals and Ecuador fails to score at least three more goals than Italy.


GROUP H

                P  W  D  L   Gls  Pts
Japan           2  1  1  0   3-2    4
Russia          2  1  0  1   2-1    3
Belgium         2  0  2  0   3-3    2
Tunisia         2  0  1  1   1-3    1
JAPAN

    Will win group: If it defeats Tunisia; Or if it draws with Tunisia and Russia and Belgium draw; Or if it draws with Tunisia and Belgium defeats Russia by one goal provided that Japan scores more goals than Belgium (e.g. Japan 2 Tunisia 2 and Belgium 1 Russia 0).

Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats or draws with Tunisia; Or if it loses to Tunisia by one goal.

Will be eliminated: If it loses to Tunisia by at least two goals.

RUSSIA

    Will win group: If it defeats Belgium and Japan fails to defeat Tunisia; Or if it draws with Belgium and Tunisia defeats Japan by one or two goals; Or if it draws with Belgium and Tunisia defeats Japan by three goals provided that Tunisia does not score at least two more goals than Russia (e.g. Russia 2 Belgium 2 and Tunisia 3 Japan 0).

Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats or draws with Belgium.

Will be eliminated: If it loses to Belgium.

BELGIUM

    Will win group: If it defeats Russia and Japan loses to Tunisia; Or if it defeats Russia by two goals and Japan draws with Tunisia; Or if it defeats Russia by one goal and Japan draws with Tunisia and Belgium scores more goals than Japan (e.g. Belgium 1 Russia 0 and Japan 0 Tunisia 0).

Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats Russia.

Will be eliminated: If it loses to or draws with Russia.

TUNISIA

    Will win group: If it defeats Japan by at least four goals and Russia draws with Belgium; Or if it defeats Japan by three goals and Russia draws with Belgium provided that Tunisia scores at least two more goals than Russia (e.g. Tunisia 3 Japan 0 and Russia 1 Belgium 1).

Will qualify for the Second Round: If it defeats Japan by at least two goals.

Will be eliminated: If it loses to or draws with Japan; Or if it defeats Japan by one goal.


 

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