FIFA World Cup 2014: Race to Finish Second in Group C

Group C is one of the four groups where technically none of the teams are knocked out. Colombia is safe with two wins, but is yet to be confirmed the leader of the group, as Ivory Coast can surpass it on Goal Difference, if Drogba’s men win, and Colombia lose, both by a margin of at least 3 goals. After the result of Group D where Uruguay finished 2nd, Colombia and Ivory Coast has the chance to pick their spot in the group. Colombia’s loss would force Ivory Coast to win to qualify, otherwise a draw is enough. But both would remember that the winner of the group has to face Uruguay in next round, while finishing 2nd gets them Costa Rica.

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Colombia has already qualified and has almost grabbed the top spot too as Ivory Coast is the only team that can reach them as they have 3 points. But to catch Colombia, Ivory Coast must win with a margin of 5 goals, and then Colombia should lose. Even Japan and Greece can fancy their chances for second spot in the group.

Special Scenario

    Japan and Greece must win.

General Scenarios

    If Colombia does not lose, Ivory Coast needs just a draw vs Greece to grab the second spot as it already has 3 points.
    If Japan defeats Colombia, and Ivory Coast loses, Japan and Greece will decide the 2nd team of the group.
    If Greece wins but Japan loses, they will accompany Colombia to the second round.

Journey so Far of Group C Teams

    Colombia has already defeated Ivory Coast and Greece, while Ivory Coast has won against Japan but lost to Colombia. Japan and Greece have played a draw but lost other match. Overall technically all the three can eye 2nd round berth with big wins.

NewsChoupal Verdict
In a normal scenario the result is predictable. Colombia and Ivory Coast are favorites to win the last matches of their group. But, with eye on 2nd round probably effort to win may take back seat as topping the group gets them Uruguay in the next round. For Colombia, it is simple. If they lose they remain on 6 points and they have anyways already qualified.

But their loss to Japan, gets Japan ahead of Ivory Coast on points. As a result Greece can attempt a big win against Ivory Coast to get ahead of Japan and qualify. Japan and Greece have only one option, that is to win and then wait for the result of other match.

Ivory Coast is the favorite to be the second team to qualify. But if Colombia loses, then Ivory Coast cannot eye a draw, as win becomes mandatory to reach the next round. If that win is a small one probably their goal difference could remain lower than Colombia and they will finish second despite tying on the points.

So, overall other three teams, except Colombia, must win to qualify to the next round. Japan and Greece in fact need big wins to qualify. Ivory Coast on the other hand knows what margin of victory it would need to finish first or second in the group.

Despite all calculations off the field, simple verdict goes in favor of wins for Colombia and Ivory Coast.

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