What does the U.S. need to do to advance out of the group after today’s two contrasting draws, one thrilling, one as boring as boiled tomatoes.
First, the table:
Team W L D P GD GF GA
Slovenia 1 0 1 4 +1 3 2
United States 0 0 2 2 0 3 3
England 0 0 2 2 0 1 1
Algeria 0 1 1 1 -1 0 1
Now, the tie-breakers:
2. Goal differential
3. Goals scored
4. Goal differential in games featuring tied teams
5. Goals scored in games featuring tied teams
6. Lots (yes, lots are drawn from a hat)
If the U.S. loses to Algeria:
They will be eliminated.
If the U.S. tie Algeria:
They will advance if Slovenia defeats England.
If England and Slovenia draw, they will advance on the third tie-breaker–goals scored–if England score fewer than two more goals than the U.S. does on Wednesday. For example, if the U.S. draws 1-1, England would need to score at least 3 goals (a 3-3 draw with Slovenia? Unlikely).
They will be eliminated if England beat Slovenia.
If the U.S. wins:
They will advance regardless of the other result and can top the group if Slovenia draw or lose.
Got it? The easiest route would seem to be beating Algeria, who were decent tonight v. England. They have some skill on the ball and crazy pace at left-back, but I didn’t see anything in defense to make the U.S. tremble. Their clean sheet was more a product of England’s poor decision-making and touch, than any outstanding display. Boy, do the Three Lions have issues.