Winning Group C brings realistic path to semifinal

Winning Group C legitimately puts the semifinals in reach

With all the appropriate caveats about not getting ahead of ourselves and needing to focus on Algeria tomorrow, a win in that game gives the US a very good chance at topping the group and a realistic path to the semifinal. Second place in the group likely brings matchups against two of the tournament favorites. While no game in the knockout stage will be easy for the US, it’s not hard to pick which path is easier and if the US wins Group C, we can genuinely think about reaching the semis. 

I know we should move on, but because of Koman Coulibali’s shocker, the US is not in control of its own destiny to top the group. If Slovenia beat England, they are group winners. But any other result paired with a US win against Algeria will bring us bring us level on points with either the Slovenes or the English, meaning the group winner will be decided on goal difference. England look a shambles both on and off the pitch, but I still find it hard to believe that they will lose to Slovenia and place the top spot in the group out of the American’s reach. So a US win by two goals should see us top the group unless Fabio Capello’s men find it all of a sudden and hammer Slovenia. A win by one may even be enough, but we can beat Algeria by two goals.

Winning Group C will put the US in the quarter of the draw with Uruguay, South Korea, and most likely Serbia. The US would play the Serbs in the round of 16 and should we get past them face the winner of Uruguay v South Korea in the quarters. All three of those teams are easily capable of beating the US, but that is about as soft a path to the semifinals of the World Cup was the US is ever likely to see.

To underscore how unique an opportunity this is for the US, the quarter of the draw that the second place team in Group C will find itself in is made up of Germany, Argentina, Mexico, and either the US, England or Slovenia. Should the US wind up here instead of England or Slovenia, we would likely play three time champion Germany in the round of 16. Should we survive that encounter, our quarterfinal opponent will probably be Argentina. Hmmmm, tough choice there.

But first things first, let’s go out and beat Algeria and see which way the chips fall. By the end of the day tomorrow, we could be looking at consecutive wins against Algeria, Serbia, and Uruguay from a place in the semifinals.

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2 Responses

  1. Whoa. I’m not ready for this. Get back to me in 24 hours.

  2. […] Winning Group C brings realistic path to semifinal « Association … […]

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