On the evening of Sunday, June 22, 2014, the United States Men's National Team was dealt a heartbreaking blow when Portugal tied the game 2-2 with mere seconds to play. As per the ESPN recap, it delayed the USA team from advancing to the second round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but it didn't entirely stop them. There are a number of scenarios that could see the United States continue playing.
Some math needed to come into the picture to determine some of the scenarios, but there are a number of them. A couple of them are simpler than others, but all of the explanations below show what would need to happen for the United States to advance in the World Cup.
It's obvious that the team coached by Jurgen Klinsmann has the power, strength, determination, and talent to advance to the round of 16. Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones only helped prove that on Sunday when they brought the United States back from a late 1-0 deficit.
Here are the scenarios as detailed by Bleacher Report:
1.) A victory by Team USA over Germany
Simple enough, beat Germany and they advance. A victory would give them a total of seven points and finish them at the top of Group G. From there, they would face the second-place team in Group H. At present time, that is Algeria.
2.) A tie/draw by Team USA with Germany
A tie with Germany would give the United States a single point and they would finish the first round with five points and tied with Germany in the group. This would then send both Germany and the USA into the second round.
With both teams having five points, no matter what happens between Ghana and Portugal, they could not catch either of those teams.
If this situation happens, the USA would face the winner of Group H. At current time, Belgium is in first place in that group.
3.) A loss by Team USA to Germany
If the Americans were to lose in their World Cup game with Germany, they would not necessarily be eliminated from moving on to the second round. A loss would keep them where they currently are with four points.
Four points is the maximum amount of points that either Portugal or Ghana can achieve after they play one another. That would be if either team gets a victory. A draw between those two teams means the USA would move on with four points and second place in Group G.
Should the USA be tied in points with Ghana, it would come down to goal differential. Currently, Ghana holds a minus-one goal differential with the USA. Here are some situations should the USA lose to Germany:
- Team USA advances if Ghana wins by one and the USA loses by one. They would be tied in points and goals scored, but the head-to-head result is in favor of the Americans.
- Team USA advances if they lose by one and score more than one goal (example: 2-1) and Ghana wins by one but only scores one goal (example: 1-0). They would be tied in points, but the USA would have a higher goals-scored amount.
Should the United States lose and Portugal beats Ghana, the same goal-difference situations would be in place. It would be easier for the USA to advance though because Portugal currently has a minus-four goal differential.
Portugal would have to beat Ghana by a huge margin or hope Germany defeats the USA by a lot.
The United States is not out of the World Cup and have a good chance of advancing to the second round, but there is still work to be done.
The World Cup always has the "Group of Death" and that is Group G this year. That nickname is appropriate considering a number of other groups already have some teams eliminated from contention, but all four in Group G are still alive with one game remaining for each in the first round.
The United States will face off with Germany on ESPN on Thursday, June 26, 2014, at noon, Eastern time. Portugal and Ghana play at the exact same time on ESPN2.