I’m on a roll this morning, third entry already. Unfortunately, they’re going to get harder later. Group C’s scenarios are a disaster. More on that later, right now it’s Group B’s turn and it’s still anybody’s game here. No team is safe, not even the in-form Argentines who top the group with 6 points. This is one of many groups where three teams could all have six points, but two teams will still advance. Someone needs to tell me why head-to-head is the third tie-breaker behind goals scored. Also, I’d like to render by Group B preview useless and just start from scratch here.
Argentina (2-0-0, 6 pts, +4 GD)
Matches – ARG 1-0 NGR; ARG 4-1 KOR; GRE vs. ARG
Knockout Scenario – Win/Draw vs. Greece
Easiest scenario for Messi, Maradona and the team that I was definitely most wrong about before the World Cup, get a point, win the group. Sounds pretty easy but remember they’re going up against a Greek side that desperately needs three points to advance. I have to hand it to Argentina though, they looked great against the normally organized South Koreans last week and should be considered a threat if the make the next round. And it would take a perfect storm to eliminate this team now.
South Korea (1-1-0, 3 pts, -1 GD)
Matches – KOR 2-0 GRE; ARG 4-1 KOR; NGR vs. KOR
Knockout Scenario – Win and Hold tiebreakers vs. Greece / Draw and Greece Draw/Loss
Here’s where it gets tough. South Korea and Greece are virtually tied, with the Koreans ahead right now on goals scored (3-2). So even with a win against Nigeria, they could still get passed by Greece on goal differential or total goals. Very confusing. With that being said, the standings say Korea has their easiest game of the tournament so far, but as poor as Nigeria has been attacking, they’re still not eliminated yet either. Best thing for the Koreans to do is take care of business against Nigeria and hope for the best.
Greece (1-1-0, 3 pts, -1 GD)
Matches – KOR 2-0 GRE; GRE 2-1 NGR; GRE vs. ARG
Knockout Scenario – Win AND Pass Korea on Tiebreakers / Draw and Korea Loss
Remember, they lost to Korea so if they end up tied on everything, head-to-head could be in play. Just like Korea the best thing they can do is win their match, easier said than done against the Argentines. The big question with this match is does Maradona feel comfortable with his position in the standings or and rest players or does he go for the result and a little insurance for first place? That I cannot answer, But the Greeks need at least a point to have a chance at advancing.
Nigeria (0-2-0, 0 pts, -2 GD)
Matches – ARG 1-0 NGR; GRE 2-1 NGR; NGR vs. KOR
Knockout Scenario – Win vs. Korea AND Greece Loss
Okay, stay with me on this one and just keep a Group B table near you while reading. If Nigeria beats Korea, even 1-0, they’d switch on the goal differential. If Argentina beats Greece, even by one goal, Greece would also fall behind Nigeria on GD. Nigeria would have at least a -1 GD and Korea/Greece would both have at least -2. Simple right? Good, because it’s the only way that Nigeria can advance so they’re rooting very hard for Argentina later. And I’d rather have this scenario, then what ever Korea and Greece have.
My original predictions had a Nigeria win and Greek-Arg draw, meaning Greece would advance with four points over Korea and Nigeria’s three. Again, anything goes here so that prediction is as good as any. Personally, I’m rooting for Nigeria or an epic fail for Argentina so I look smarter than my original preview, which should be burned.