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Monday, June 19, 2006

Beginner's luck

Well, the initial eight groups in World Cup "football" have only one match left for each team to decide who's advancing and who's going home. Now seems as good a time as ever to see how the teams I chose to root for in each group are doing.

A - Poland. Done. Alas, Germany and Ecuador will go forward.

B - England. In great shape, they'll advance.

C - Argentina. Looking good as well.

D - Portugal. Ditto.

E - USA. Still barely alive, but they do not, as they say, control their own destiny. The USA side needs to beat Ghana, and most likely for Italy to beat the Czechs.

F - Brazil. They're a lock to advance.

G - Togo. Maybe next Cup.

H - Spain. They're also going to the next level.

In sum, my only faves who are out of it so far are the Poles and Togo, with USA teetering and five of my teams going forward. I felt good about that, until I realized that a completely random selection, by a chimp, of one team from each group would result, on average, in four teams advancing. But hey, if USA makes it, I'll feel pretty good with six out of eight. Go, USA! Go, Italy!

Starting tomorrow and for the next four days, there will be two sets of two matches each being played simultaneously. Tomorrow, the first matches (7 a.m. PDT) are Poland vs. Costa Rica (yawn, both their farewells) and Ecuador vs. Germany (for the top of Group A). The second matches (noon) are Paraguay vs. Trinidad-Tobago (likely, farewells for both) and Sweden vs. England (for the top of Group B). Trinidad-Tobago could still theoretically squeak ahead of Sweden, but Tri-To would need to beat Paraguay, Sweden would have to lose, and one or both of those results would have to be lopsided enough that Tri-To makes up a three-goal deficit compared to Sweden's goal differential.

Barring the latter set of events, the winner of the high-end game in Group A will play the loser of the high-end game in Group B, and vice versa, this weekend in the "round of 16." And so with the exception of the possibility of Trinidad-Tobago nosing out Sweden, no one will be eliminated tomorrow.

Comments (2)

It's not impossible that a Trinidad-Tobago/Sweden tie in the standings could be resolved by a coin flip!

You're doing good Jack—I follow this sport and I'm getting creamed in my fantasy WC competition. C'mon USA!

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