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World Cup Day 12 Thread

Teams start to advance en mass tomorrow, so things should get really to be really interesting! It is Groups A and B that will send teams on and send teams home tomorrow.

And in case you don't know, here is some vital information heading into tomorrow: the tiebreakers if teams finish even on points:

1. Goal differential
2. Goals scored
3. Head to head
4. Drawing lots

I have been trying to work through the third option, and although I can think of a few obvious situations where it could work, it seems like that won't separate too many teams. Hopefully, though, it won't come down to drawing lots.

You've probably already memorized all this, but here it is for easy reference.

Group A

Current Standings:

1 Uruguay (4pts, +3GD, 3GS, 0GA)
2 Mexico (4 pts, +2GD, 3GS, 1GA)
3 France (1 pt, -2GD, 0GS, 2GA)
4 South Africa (1 pt, -3GD, 1GS, 4GA)

How the standings play out:

For Uruguay to advance:
(a) Wins group with win or tie versus Mexico
(b) Loss and France-South Africa tie
(c) Loss and if either France or South Africa wins, be ahead of winner on the tiebreaker

For Mexico to advance:
(a) Wins group with win versus Uruguay
(b) Tie versus Uruguay gets Mexico second place
(c) Loss and France-South Africa tie
(d) Loss and if either France or South Africa wins, be ahead of winner on the tiebreaker

For France or South Africa to advance:
(a) Win and and win tiebreaker against loser of Mexico-Uruguay
(b) Both are out with a tie or a Mexico-Uruguay tie

I have been thrilled with the play of Uruguay on the whole. If they had known the sorry state of France prior to the tournament, they might have come out with a little more verve in the first match, but they are still in a great position to win the group. The match against Mexico should be good one, despite the fact that a draw could see both teams through. The reality is that the loser will find themselves either out of the tournament (with some pretty bad luck) or coming up against Argentina (presumed winner of Group B) in the Round of 16. Neither of those is a very good scenario, especially when a win gets Mexico a first match against either South Korea, Nigeria, or Greece, rather than the Albiceleste. I have to think it is going to be a good showing by the Uruguay defense that will keep the match to a 0-0 draw, despite Mexico's best efforts.

Group B

Current standings:

1 Argentina (6pts, +4GD, 5GS, 1GA)
2 South Korea (3 pts, -1GD, 3GS, 4GA)
3 Greece (3 pts, -1GD, 2GS, 3GA)
4 Nigeria (0 pts, -2GD, 1GS, 3GA)

For Argentina to advance:
(a) Win or tie versus Greece
(b) South Korea tie or loss versus Nigeria
(c) Loss as long as both South Korea and Greece do not make up tiebreakers

For South Korea to advance:
(a) Win versus Nigeria and Greece does not either (1) win by greater margin, or (2) win by same margin and score 2+ more goals
(b) Tie and Greece tie/loss

For Greece to advance:
(a) Win versus Argentina and South Korea tie/loss
(b) Win by greater margin than South Korea
(c) Win by same margin as South Korea and score 2+ more goals
(d) Tie and South Korea loss
(e) Win by 3+ goals

For Nigeria to advance:
(a) Win versus South Korea and Argentina win

Everyone knows that Argentina is going to advance. But from there one out, it is anyone's guess. South Korea played great in the first match in making Greece look really bad. Then Greece came out and took advantage of an extra man to steal three points from Nigeria. But now, it really seems like it has to be between South Korea and Nigeria, winner take all. Simply put, Argentina will beat Greece. It is just a matter of by how many goals. Somehow, Diego Maradona has them running like a machine. Don't get me wrong - I am sure it will blow up somewhere around the quarterfinals, because he really is crazy - but they are going to take care of business tomorrow. That means that South Korea advances with a win or a draw, and Nigeria advances with a win. Many people have written Nigeria off after two losses and added them to a pile of African disappointments, but don't be so quick. They looked dangerous against Argentina, and were playing with 10 men against Greece. Both Nigeria and South Korea can score, and it should be a thrilling encounter. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Nigeria takes it 2-1.