Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How can each team qualify?

Group B Argentina v Greece, South Korea v Nigeria

Argentina: Need a point against Greece to secure top spot in the group. They will also definitely go through with a defeat should South Korea fail to beat Nigeria. If that does happen, Greece would only top the group by beating Argentina by three goals.

South Korea and Greece: Certain to qualify if they better the other's result. If both South Korea and Greece draw, Korea would go through unless Greece were to draw by a greater margin of two goals (for instance, 0-0 and 2-2). Draws of 1-1 for Korea and 2-2 for Greece would put Korea through on head-to-head.

Greece: Will definitely qualify if they better South Korea's result.

If South Korea and Greece win: It will all come down to goal difference. That said, Greece and South Korea would both need to win by at least three goals to eliminate Argentina. Any other result and Argentina will certainly go through, and it would be a straight shootout between South Korea and Greece. Greece would need to win by a greater margin than South Korea to pip them to second place.

Nigeria: Can only qualify if they win and Greece lose, a combination which will guarantee Nigeria second place no matter what the actual scorelines.

Group C England v Slovenia, USA v Algeria

Slovenia: Require only a point against England to qualify, but if USA win it is more likely that Bob Bradley's men would top the group on goal difference. If Slovenia draw 1-1 and USA win 1-0, or such a scoreline that places them with the same goals for/against, then they will have to draw lots. If USA win by more than one goal they would definitely top the group with a Slovenia draw. Slovenia can also qualify with a loss if USA and Algeria draw. Slovenia would still go through with a 1-0 defeat if Algeria win 1-0, 2-1 or 3-2. Any other Algerian win (other than on that same scale for the two teams), and Slovenia would go out.

United States: Will definitely qualify if they beat Algeria and will certainly be out if they lose. They can also very likely go through with a draw if England draw too. As USA have scored more goals than England, and the match between the two sides finished level, England would have to be involved in a draw with three greater goals than USA to overtake them. If the difference is two goals (0-0, 2-2) then the teams will draw lots.

England: Will definitely be through if they beat Slovenia and will top the group if USA fail to win, or win by a smaller margin. If England draw it must be in a high-scoring game, as stated above. If England draw and Algeria win then it will be Algeria and Slovenia in the second round.

Algeria: Must beat USA to stand any chance. If England win by more than one goal then Algeria will go through with any victory over USA. If England win by one goal then Algeria must win by two goals, or a one-goal scoreline which leaves them with more goals scored than Slovenia.

Group D Ghana v Germany, Serbia v Australia

Ghana: Will definitely top the group with victory over Germany, and are certain to qualify if they draw. They will top the group with a draw if Serbia do not beat Australia. If Ghana lose to Germany they will be out if Serbia win. If Serbia draw and Ghana lose it comes down to goal difference.If Ghana lose by more than one goal Serbia would go through. If Ghana lose 1-0 and Serbia draw 1-1, or such combination, Ghana will go through on head to head. It could also come down to goals scored depend on the scoreline in the two games, but Serbia would need to have more goals scored to beat the head-to-head. If Australia win then Pim Verbeek's team would need a goal difference swing of five to overhaul a defeated Black Stars.

Germany: They will be through with victory over Ghana and definitely out if they lose. If Germany draw, they will still go through if Serbia do not win (unless Australia win by seven goals).

Serbia: Again, they will certainly be in the second round with three points. A draw will only be good enough if Germany were to lose. They cannot go through with a defeat.

Australia: The Aussies have to win and hope Germany lose. If Germany draw then Australia would have to win by seven goals. If Germany win then Australia would need a five-goal swing against Ghana.

Group E Netherlands v Cameroon, Japan v Denmark

Netherlands: Their place in the second round is already assured, and they will top the group if there is no winner between Japan and Cameroon. For top spot, the Dutch have a three-goal lead over Japan and a four-goal lead over Denmark. So, for instance, a 2-0 win for Japan and a 1-0 loss for Netherlands would see the Dutch top the group on head-to-head; this means Japan must better Netherlands' goal difference. The same applies to Denmark, though a high-scoring two-goal win/loss would put the Danes top.

Japan and Denmark: Japan only need a point to go through because of their better goal difference. Denmark must win to go through.

Cameroon: Eliminated

Group F Paraguay v New Zealand, Italy v Slovakia

Paraguay: Only need a point against New Zealand to book their place. They would go through with a loss if Italy and Slovakia draw, and in that event New Zealand would win the group. If Paraguay draw, they will win the group unless Italy beat Slovakia by two goals. Italy and Paraguay could have to draw lots for top spot, for instance, if Paraguay draw 1-1 and Italy win 2-0.

Italy: Will qualify as long as they better New Zealand's result, but must avoid defeat against Slovakia.

New Zealand: Will definitely qualify if they beat Paraguay, and top the group in that scenario if Italy fail to win or if New Zealand win by a greater margin. New Zealand can only go through with a draw if Italy draw too, and then the All Whites would need to be involved in a higher-scoring draw. If Italy and New Zealand draw by the same scoreline they will draw lots for second place.

Slovakia: Must beat Italy to stand any chance. If New Zealand beat Paraguay, then Slovakia must overturn a goal difference of four with Paraguay. If New Zealand draw or lose then Slovakia would definitely be through with a win.

Group G Brazil v Portugal, Ivory Coast v North Korea

Brazil: Have qualified for the second round and will top the group with a point against Portugal.

Portugal: Only need a point against Brazil to take second place, and will top the group if they beat Brazil.

Ivory Coast: Must beat North Korea heavily, and hope Brazil beat Portugal. Portugal's thrashing of North Korea means the Ivorians require a goal difference swing of nine to go through, which is very unlikely with the prospect that Brazil may not play a full strength side with qualification assured.

North Korea: Eliminated

Group H Chile v Spain, Switzerland v Honduras

Chile: Need just a point to qualify. However, if they lose to Spain their chances of making it to the second round are very much in the balance.

Spain:If they beat Chile by any scoreline, they will be guaranteed to climb above Chile on goal difference and progress. Will also qualify with a point if Switzerland lose to Honduras. If both Spain and Switzerland draw then Spain will go through on goal difference.

Switzerland: Must better Spain's result to guarantee qualification. If both Spain and Switzerland win, then it will come down to goal difference with Spain definitely through. If Switzerland win and Chile lose by two goals then the Swiss will be through. If Switzerland win 1-0 and Chile lose 1-0 then Chile will finish second to Spain, ahead of Switzerland on the head-to-head rule. Switzerland must win by a greater margin than Spain's win to stand a chance of topping the group.

Honduras: Hopes are slim for Honduras, who must beat Switzerland and hope Chile beat Spain. If Honduras beat the Swiss by two goals they are guaranteed to climb above them. But they would also need Spain to lose by at least three goals to move above them into second. All very unlikely.

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