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Group E - Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica

Who will qualify from the group?


  • Total voters
    11
  • Poll closed .

Uppercut

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I marginally prefer head to head, but I really don't like the rule that when three teams are tied on points the tie-breaker is goal difference in games between those three teams. It's convoluted and creates more collusion opportunities and dead rubbers. It should have been abandoned after the Denmark-Sweden 2-2 game in 2004.
 

GIMH

Norwood's on Fire
I marginally prefer head to head, but I really don't like the rule that when three teams are tied on points the tie-breaker is goal difference in games between those three teams. It's convoluted and creates more collusion opportunities and dead rubbers. It should have been abandoned after the Denmark-Sweden 2-2 game in 2004.
Why? That was hilarious
 

GIMH

Norwood's on Fire
I don't know anything about the incident in question but surely hilarity shouldn't be the measurement for things like this.
So you had Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Bulgaria in a group. Going into the final round of games, both Sweden and Denmark had beaten Bulgaria and both had drawn with Italy, 0-0 and 1-1. This meant that whatever Italy did V Bulgaria, a score-draw with 2 or more goals each per side would knock them out.

I remember sitting in a pub in Irby watching the games and Sweden equalised in the last minute to make it 2-2. Tbf it seemed legit but who knows.

At the time Italy were actually drawing 1-1, and went onto score an injury time penalty to win the game that was ultimately meaningless. It was cruel but also hilarious to see such a thing inflicted on another side.

I was joking about that being a good reason but tbf if it was using Goal Difference as the separator Italy would have gone out anyway. It's just the fact that before the game everyone was talking about 2-2 knocking Italy out and then it finishing 2-2, it certainly raises a few eyebrows.

Any scenario where two sides know a certain result can take them both through is not ideal but it's not really avoidable in a four-team group beyond measures already in place. The next WC with three-team groups is ripe for contrived finishes though IMHO.
 

Lillian Thomson

Hall of Fame Member
I remember goal difference being discussed at great length as far back as 1974. In those days you had a couple of genuinely weak nations. That year it was Zaire and Haiti. The perceived problem was that they were fully focussed and at peak fitness for the first match and suffered a fairly narrow defeat. They took a real hiding in the second game and regrouped and used fresh players in the third game and had a narrower defeat. They both lost by 2 in the first match and three in the third, with 9 and 7 goal defeats in the middle. I think it was Paddy Crerand who brought it up initially because Scotland went out on goal difference and he believed playing Zaire first was a great disadvantage.
 
Last edited:

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Probably helps Jerry the most of all the potential results.

Does mean that even if Espana beat them later they'll still, at worst, be in the shake up come the final games and, assuming yer Spaniards don't take a dive against Japan, beating Costa Rica is likely good enough.

A draw tonight and I suspect they're golden; even if Japan then manage to hold Spain a two goal win would definitely be enough.
 

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