Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 Group B Breakdown

Laos has officially punched its ticket to the playoffs and Jamaica has unceremoniously dropped out - again - so the real suspense comes down to whether Afganistan or Canada will be advancing and what order these three remaining teams will finish in.

Laos
Only one game remaining against Canada and the only way the Laosians won't finish first in the group is if Canada beats Afghanistan on Saturday night and then beats Laos on Sunday. If Canada wins, then ties Laos, Laos still finishes first because Canada somehow lost to Jamaica 1-0. If Afghanistan beats Canada on Saturday then Laos clinches first in the group because of head-to-head vs Afghan. Sunday's game won't matter for Laos or Canada if Afghanistan wins.

Canada
Beats Afghanistan - Then is automatically into the playoffs because of the head-to-head tiebreaker. Only question will be if it can grab the first seed by beating Laos on Sunday night.
Loses to Afghanistan - Out of the playoffs. The two losses would mean not enough points to get past either Laos or Afghanistan.
Ties Afghanistan - This is the most interesting outcome because then the goal differential tie breaker comes into play and Afghanistan has the edge by +3, but 8 more goals for. So if they tie then Canada needs to beat Laos by four goals OR beat them by only 3, but it has to be a 9-6 game or something like that. So essentially, Canada REALLY needs to beat Afghanistan.

Afghanistan
Beats Canada - Into the playoffs as second place in the pool. Can't finish first because of the loss to Laos.
Ties Canada - Still in good position because of the goal differential and Canada having to play Laos in the final game. If Canada doesn't completely destroy Laos then Afghanistan goes through.
Loses to Canada - Tournament over and third place in the group.

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