Denmark v. Portugal (2-3)
Game of the tournament, perhaps. It certainly was if you like goals (being a goalkeeper, I’m not big on goals). Portugal was up 2-0, but saw that lead slip to 2-2.
I have no Danish or Portuguese players in my team. According to FIFA 2012, Christian Eriksen is going to be one of the best players in the world. They’ve cooled on Ninis, who now they say will only make it to 81. The FIFA Fanatic searching is SO much faster than it was in the past.
It’s not looking good for Scandinavia, but of course Sweden can take care of that on Friday. Below I go through what Denmark needs to do.
Germany v. Netherlands (2-1)
This was mostly a do or die game for Netherlands, but not quite. If the Netherlands win and Germany wins, it will go to goal differential, but not the type of goal differential you might think.
I wasn’t sure if head to head or goals for is the tie-breaker after goal differential and I found out that goal differential is not the first tie-breaker. SoccerAmerica states:
When more than two teams finish level, points earned in games between those involved determines order of finish. If they’re still tied, goal differential during those games is used to separate them, then goals scored.
With the Germany games expunged by the record, if Netherlands win by one goal, things will look like this.
We know Denmark has a max of three goals scored, so Portugal goes through unless it is a 1-0 scoreline since we also know Portugal has three goals. If it is a 1-0 scoreline, we have to dig deeper and find:
If, after having applied criteria a) to c), two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine the final rankings of the two teams.
Portugal still goes through. If, on the other hand, Netherlands win 2-0, the goal differential will be:
Denmark goes through since they beat the Netherlands, which is rule D-a.
Thus, Netherlands must win by three goals. Now, it doesn’t matter what the score is (3-0, 4-1, 5-2), but they’ve got to turn that -2 goal differential into a plus 2.
Now, if Denmark beat Germany and Portugal beat Netherlands we have another tie, this time at 6 points. Denmark will have to go for it because four points might not get them through (a Portuguese draw or a Portuguese win sends Portugal through).
If Denmark wins by any margin and Portugal wins Portugal and Denmark will go through by virtue of more goals scored in those matches, so Germany really cannot afford to lose. That is, unless, Denmark wins 4-3, because then Germany will have scored 4 goals to Portugal’s 3.
After the performance against Denmark, I purged the Dutch players in my fantasy team, but I do have three Germans: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and B. Schweinsteiger. Considering I have the Dutch winning the tournament, I wasn’t sure the best outcome for the game. Certainly, it looks like it is about time to toss out my bracket. My fantasy team is down to 91.9%. I’m also down to 34 in the Fans of Sweden group. Surely I was passed by those with Gomez in their squad. I’m still topping my personal group. Wendy is winning round 2 by a landslide currently 34-25 (that’s me). This person‘s points are artificially inflated by having his whole team play. I, on the other hand, have only hand 5 players play. Wendy has had 6 players play. My brother (who is doing the Germany-Denmark write-up for us Sunday) has had 5 players play. Eric (who is doing the write-up for the Portugal-Netherlands match for us Sunday) is sitting in last, but has only had 2 players play this round.
US v. Guatemala (1-1)
The game wasn’t televised in the US, but I felt like it was worth a mention. This draw puts the US and Jamaica joint atop the group for World Cup Qualifying.
Other Swedish News
If it weren’t Sweden, I wouldn’t feel this “bulling” incident was worth a mention.