The United States plays its final game of the qualifying round today at 11:00 ET, against powerhouse Germany. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, while the other two teams in the group (Ghana and Portugal) play simultaneously on ESPN 2.
Here's the short of it, in terms of the U.S. path to qualifying for the knockout round:
- If the U.S. wins today, it wins Group G.
- If the U.S. ties today, it finishes in 2nd in Group G and advances.
- If the U.S. loses today and Ghana and Portugal tie, the U.S. advances.
- If the U.S. loses today, and the game between Ghana and Portugal doesn't end in a tie, it is possible for the winner of that game to advance, and for the U.S. to be finished. It would come down to goal differential. The U.S. is current at +1, Ghana is currently at -1, and Portugal is currently at -4. If Ghana wins by and the U.S. loses by 1, the U.S. still advances. If either of those results takes place but with a margin of victory larger than one, Ghana would advance. Portugal can only advance if it wins, the U.S. loses, and the combined goal differential of those two games is at least 5 (highly unlikely).
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(points in parentheses)
+= Clinched spot in Round of 16
Group A: Brazil (7)+, Mexico (7)+, Croatia (3)*, Cameroon (0)* - through 3 matches
Group B: Netherlands (9)+, Chile (6)+, Spain (3)*, Australia (0)* - through 3 matches
Group C: Colombia (9)+, Greece (4)+, Ivory Coast (3)*, Japan (1)* - through 3 matches
Group D: Costa Rica (7)+, Uruguay (6)+, Italy (3)*, England (1)* - through 3 matches
Group E: France (7)+, Switzerland (6)+, Ecuador (4)*, Honduras (0)* - through 3 matches
Group F: Argentina (9)+, Nigeria (4)+, Bosnia and Herzegovina (3)*, Iran (1)*, - through 3 matches
Group G: Germany (7)+, United States (4)+, Portugal (4)*, Ghana (1)* - through 3 matches
Group H: Belgium (9)+, Algeria (4)+, Russia (2)*, South Korea (1)* - through 3 matches
The third and final set of group matches:
Spain 3, Australia 0 (Group B)
Netherlands 2, Chile 0 (Group B)
Mexico 3, Croatia 1 (Group A)
Brazil 4, Cameroon 1 (Group A)
Uruguay 1, Italy 0 (Group D)
Costa Rica 0, England 0 (tie) (Group D)
Colombia 4, Japan 0 (Group C)
Greece 2, Ivory Coast 1 (Group C)
Argentina 3, Nigeria 2 (Group F)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3, Iran 1 (Group F)
Switzerland 3, Honduras 0 (Group E)
Ecuador 0, France 0 (tie) (Group E)
Germany 1, United States 0 (Group G)
Portugal 2, Ghana 1 (Group G)
Belgium 1, South Korea 0 (Group H)
Algeria 1, Russia 1 (Group H)