There’s never a dull year in the world of sports, and 2014 was certainly no exception. While it definitely had its low points (Donald Sterling, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson), 2014 still produced more than its fair share of memorable games, performances and moments, so let’s take a look back at some of the best things that the world of sports had to offer in 2014.
We have all been ranting about Germany’s epic 7-1 beat down of Brazil in the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup for a few days now. Personally I’ve been scrambling for an explanation for how the host country fell apart in such epic fashion. Thanks to some digging, I may have figured out the real reason for A Seleção’s collapse.
If you look closely at the video below, you can tell why Germany had such an easy time scoring. The Brazilians weren’t actually on the field! Look, Julio Cesar, David Luiz, Marcelo, Bernard, Maicon and company were clearly off getting hot pretzels. How did Luiz Felipe Scolari allow this to happen?!?
Check out the video below:
Seriously, that really explains a lot. I really can’t believe I didn’t catch that the first few times I watched the game.
The United States took a 2-1 lead into the 95th minute of its Group G World Cup match against Portugal on Sunday and was on the verge of clinching a berth in the knockout round. Then, in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time, Cristiano Ronaldo hit Silvestre Varela on a cross, and Varela headed it past Tim Howard to force a 2-2 draw.
After two World Cup matches the USA is in second place in Group G and is tied with first place Germany on points. The Americans are in a better place than most experts expected them to be in at this point, and they control their own destiny going forward. But the US is not yet guaranteed passage into the knockout rounds. With that in mind, here is a look at all of the scenarios that could put the United States into the Round of 16.
If the United States wins against Germany:
If the Yanks defeat Germany on Thursday, they win Group G with seven points, and advance to play the runner up of Group H in the Round of 16. Any of the four teams in Group H could potentially finish in second place, but Algeria and Russia are the most likely runners up.
If the United States draws against Germany:
If the USA ties Germany, both teams will finish with five points in the group. A winner of the Portugal-Ghana match would have only four points, thus both the Americans and Germans would advance. Germany, by virtue of its 4-0 drubbing of Portugal in the opening match of the group, would get the edge over the USA on goal differential and win the group. The United States would finish second and meet the Group H winner (probably Belgium) in the knockout round.
If the United States loses to Germany:
Here’s where things get complicated. If the Americans lose on Thursday, their fate will depend on:
- the result of the Portugal-Ghana match.
- how much the USA loses by.
- how many goals the USA scores in the loss.
The USA has four points, thanks to its win over Ghana (three points) and draw against Portugal (one point). Portugal and Ghana currently have one point each. So, if Portugal and Ghana were to tie, each would have two points and the Americans (having lost to Germany) would advance as the Group G runner-up.
If either Portugal or Ghana wins, that team would also have four points, and tiebreakers would determine which team would finish second in Group G.
The first tiebreaker is goal differential, or total margin of victory. For this reason a Portugal win would be better for the USA than a Ghana win. Ghana’s current goal differential is -1; the USA’s is +1. Were Ghana to defeat Portugal by one goal and were the United States to fall to Germany by one goal, both teams would have goal differentials of 0, and we’d have to go to the second tiebreaker (more on that in a second). Were Ghana to win by two or more goals and/or were the United States to lose by two or more goals, a Ghana win and United States loss would put the Black Stars through to the Knockout Round.
A Portugal win would make a loss to Germany easier for the Americans to absorb. Portugal’s current goal differential is -4. So, were the Portuguese to defeat Ghana by a two-goal margin and were the United States to lose to the Germans by the same margin, goal differential would still favor the USA.
If two teams tied for second place were to have identical goal differentials, the second tiebreaker—total goals scored—would come into play. Let’s say Ghana beats Portugal 1-0 and the USA loses to Germany 2-1. Ghana and the USA both would have four points and a goal differential of 0, but the Americans would have scored a total of 5 goals while the Ghanaians would have scored only 4. In such a scenario the United States would advance.
In the event that the United States and either Portugal or Ghana (most likely Ghana) were to have identical goal differentials and goal totals, the next tiebreakers are a) points in matches between tied teams, b) goal differential in matches between tied teams, and c) total goals in matches between tied teams. In cases where three teams are tied, these tiebreakers can get interesting. But when only two teams are tied, all three tiebreakers involve the head-to-head result between the two squads. Were the USA to tie Ghana, those tiebreakers would be favorable to the Americans.
Were the USA to tie Portugal, neither team would get the head-to-head edge and the final tiebreaker—drawing of lots—would determine which team represented Group G in the Round of 16.
The United States wins Group G, and advances to the knockout round, with a win over Germany.
The United States is Group G runner up, and advances to the knockout round, if:
- the USA ties Germany.
- the USA loses to Germany but Portugal and Ghana tie.
- the USA loses to Germany, Portugal beats Ghana, and the USA wins the tiebreaker against Portugal (which would be likely).
- the USA loses to Germany, Ghana beats Portugal, and the USA wins the tiebreaker against Ghana. The first two tiebreakers could conceivably favor either squad. If the third tiebreaker comes into play, the United States advances.
After the 2013 UEFA Champions League semifinals, Germany has become the obvious choice to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
We have reached the semifinal stage of Euro Cup 2012.
All in all I think that the teams remaining deserve their place in the Semifinal.