The USA vs. Slovenia draw was both a fantastic and heart-wrenching result at the same time. It was a phenomenal comeback that enabled the US soccer team to tie the game at 2 in the second half, however, a third goal that should have been allowed was called back, preventing the USA from winning the game. With the USA vs. Slovenia results in mind, what does the team need to do to advance past the Group Stage and into the knockout rounds of the 2010 World Cup?
As of right now, Slovenia leads Group C with 4 points, the USA has 2, England has 1 and Algeria has 0. England vs. Algeria takes place later this afternoon, and the results will definitely have an impact on the USA’s chance of advancing.
Two teams advance past the groups and into the Round of 16. If any teams are tied in points, goal differential is used to determine the advancing squad.
Algeria is the weakest member of Group C, and while England hasn’t shown it yet, they are the strongest. So it would not be an unfair assumption at this time to say that England will beat Algeria in today’s match.
If that happens, the standings shift to England and Slovenia with 4 points, the USA with 2 and Algeria with 0. The remaining matches will be next week, with England and Slovenia facing off and the USA vs. Algeria match transpiring at the same time.
The USA of course needs to win this game. If they do that, the US team will have 5 points in the group. That means that all they need to advance into the Round of 16 past Group C will be for somebody to win the England vs. Slovenia match. If either team beats the other, one of them ends up with 5, the loser would have 4, and the USA would advance with 5 points as well. A draw however would see all three teams ending up with 5 points, and then goal differential coming into the picture. Here’s a closer look, examining different scenarios for England vs. Algeria.
So what does the USA team need in order to advance to the next round of the World Cup?
England vs. Algeria is an English Win
Assuming England beats Algeria, the USA will also need to defeat Algeria. The standings would see Slovenia and England with 4 points, the USA with 2 and Algeria with 0. Then all the USA team needs is for somebody to win the England vs. Slovenia match. If that happens, the USA will win their spot into the knockout stages and the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup.
England vs. Algeria is a Draw
If England vs. Algeria ends in a draw, the group standings would be Slovenia 4, England and the USA 2, and Algeria 1. The USA beating Algeria would still give them 5 points. In that case, an England vs. Slovenia draw would see the USA and Slovenia advancing and England being knocked out. A Slovenia win would produce the same results. An England win would give England and the United States 5 points, and would see them advancing while Slovenia is sent home.
England vs. Algeria is an English Loss
In the least likely circumstance this afternoon, the standings would then be Slovenia with 4 points, Algeria with 3, the USA with 2 and England with 1. A US win over Algeria gives them 5 points, and any result between England and Slovenia results in the Americans advancing.
The bottom line is that if the USA wants to advance, they need to beat Algeria regardless of what happens. A draw against Algeria would only give the USA 3 points, which means that almost every scenario sends the USA packing.