The United States was super close to advancing to the World Cup’s version of the “Sweet 16”.
Portugal tied the match with just seconds to go which now gives the U.S. many possibilities to advance to the next round.
Thanks to the folks over at NBC, here’s a breakdown of all the various possibilities!
If the United States beats Germany …
… they win Group G and face the second place team from Group H (currently Algeria).
If the United States draws with Germany …
… they finish second in Group G, behind the Germans. They’ll then face the winner of Group H (currently Belgium).
If the United States loses to Germany, they still advance in second place if …
1. Ghana and Portugal draw; or
2. Ghana beats Portugal (a) by only one goal, and (b) the U.S. loses by only one goal, and (c) Ghana doesn’t outscore the U.S. by two or more goals on the day; or
3. Portugal beats Ghana and fails to make up the five-goal gap in difference (see more, below).
Thanks to Portugal’s lopsided loss to Germany, the U.S. has a huge edge in that first, goal difference tiebreaker. Portugal would either have to blow out Ghana or benefit from the Germans routing the U.S.
Here are the scenarios — all of them — some of which involve the word “lots”:
- If Germany beats the U.S. by five or more, Portugal only needs to beat Ghana to advance.
- If Germany wins by four, Portugal advances if they beat Ghana at least two. If they win by one, Portugal can still advance if they end up with more total goals than the U.S. The Americans currently have four. Portugal has two. If the teams end up with the same number of goals, they’ll draw lots, leaving Group G’s second knockout round spot up to chance.
- If Germany wins by three, Portugal advances if they win by three or more. Win by two: Total goals, then lots. Win by only one? They’re out.
- If Germany wins by two, Portugal advanced if they win by four of more. Win by three: Goals and lots. Two or less: They’re done.
- If Germany wins by one, Portugal advances with a five-goal win. Four? Goals, lots. Three of fewer? Adeus.
Here are the FIFA tiebreakers:
1. Goal difference in all group stage matches
2. Goals scored in all group stage matches
3. Points in matches between the tied teams
4. Goal difference in matches between the tied teams
5. Goals scored in matches between the tied teams
6. Draw lots