10 September 2005

World Cup Qualifying: Europe

With the international week over, we now know a lot more about who's going to Germany. Most teams have two games left. But still, there are quite a few uncertainties left. Let's start by looking at Europe.

European qualifying is slow to resolve, due to the setup. There are eight groups, and only the winners of each group automatically advance. In the end, five of the eight second-place teams will go through, but still there's more unccertainty than in most regions. Only two teams have qualified outright, and one of those is Germany, with an automatic bid.

* Control their own destiny. Team can at least reach second place by winning its own games (and of course could win a playoff through its own efforts.
** Control their own destiny for reaching first place in group. Team can reach first place by winning its own games.
+ Team only has one game left (instead of two)

The two best-placed second place teams qualify automatically. As things stand today, that would be the Czech Republic and either Turkey or Croatia. (I don't know how they break ties.)

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