22 June 2006

WC: Final Games -- Groups E and F

Possibly the most exciting day for all the group finals.

Group E
Italy 1 1 0 3 1 +2 4
Czech Republic 1 0 1 3 2 +1 3
Ghana 1 0 1 2 2 +0 3
United States 0 1 0 1 4 -3 1

Italy vs. Czech Republic, Hamburg
Ghana vs. United States, Nuremberg

They're both the games to watch! I fully expect an exciting two hours, with many backs and forths on the status as scores change. Italy vs. Czech Republic is exciting in its own right, even without considering what's at stake. And US against Ghana has the potential to be a very tight match as well. The US has a lot of ground to make up in goal differential, so they really need Italy to win if they're to go through.


 US winsUS/Ghana drawGhana wins
Italy winsItaly, US advanceItaly, Ghana advanceItaly, Ghana advance
Italy/Czechs drawItaly advance. US or Czech Rep advance based on goal diff.Italy advance. Czech Rep or Ghana advance based on goal diff.Ghana and Italy advance.
Czech Rep winsCzech Rep advance; US or Italy advance based on goal diff.Czech Rep advance; Italy or Ghana advance based on goal diff.Czech Rep and Ghana advance.

Group F
Brazil 2 0 0 3 0 +3 6
Australia 1 0 1 3 3 +0 3
Croatia 0 1 1 0 1 -1 1
Japan 0 1 1 1 3 -2 1

Brazil vs. Japan, Dortmund
Australia vs. Croatia, Stuttgart (game to watch)

Group F is nearly as exciting as E. Brazil are already qualified, to be sure. So that takes the pressure off them... but that only makes things more interesting for Japan. Brazil will rest several key players, and that will give the Japanese hope. Now that may be a false hope, as Brazil's second-stringers will be eager to prove their worth. But still, it's better than facing the world's best. Meanwhile, Croatia vs. Australia has the potential to be highly entertaining. Croatia have shown flashes of excellence but haven't really broken out yet. And Australia are probably the least deserving team to have 3 points after two games; they've only looked good for about 15 minutes so far.

SCENARIOS: Brazil are through regardless, and would need to lose pretty big to miss first in the group. Japan need to win, need Australia to not win, and need to make up a couple goals on differential. Australia are through if they win and possibly if they draw (unless it's Japan). Croatia need to win and need to beat Japan on goal differential if Japan win.

It's gonna be a real barn-burner today. The Group E games start in an hour. COME ON YOU NATS!

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