Thursday, July 17, 2008

Complicated scenarios

Through two games, all teams in Group B are still alive and, as far as we can tell, each team has a chance of crashing out of the tournament on Sunday.

That means Santos, who have zero points in two games, still have hopes while New England, with six points in two games, might still not advance.

How does that work out? Well, like I said, it's complicated.

First of all, here's a link to what some colleagues were discussing in the press box. Nick Green on his 100 Percent Soccer blog breaks down the tiebreaking scenarios. I let him do the work on Wednesday as I had a lot of stuff to get off my plate and by the time I wanted to figure it out on my own, the topic had been discussed and figured out... we think. It's complicated, rememeber.

Okay, let's see here. New England has six points, but if Chivas beats the Revs, both will be on six points. If Pachuca beats Santos, all three would be on six points and Santos would be out with zero. You can't go to head-to-head because New England beat Pachuca, Pachuca beat Chivas and Chivas would have beaten New England.

Next tiebreaker is goal differential. Entering Sunday, it's New England with plus two, and Pachuca and Chivas are even. Nick points out that if one team can advance on goal differential over the other, it goes through first. So if Pachuca wins 2-0 and Chivas wins 1-0, Pachuca goes through on the better goal differential and you go back to the top with Chivas and Revs. If that's the case, Chivas beats the Revs on head-to-head and New England's out.

I guess the easiest thing is this: if New England wins or draws, they're through. If Chivas and Pachuca both win, the club who wins by more goals is also probably through, and the Revs are in trouble.

On the other end of the spectrum, if Santos beats Pachuca and New England beats Chivas, the Revs win the group with nine points while the other three would each have three points. Then, you'd repeat the tiebreaking scenarios above.

Seriously, my head is starting to hurt.


Anonymous said...

If Nick Green is really right about the way the tie-breakers work then the Revolution could have the power in their hands, if they dont care about ethics. Here me out, since the Revs play the second game they know what the result of the Pachuca game will be and anything but a Pachuca win would gurantee them advancing. But lets say Pachuca wins 2-0. Now say the Revs are down 1-0 with ten minutes left. They already know Pachuca has six and if Chivas wins 1-0 they are out. So they could easily let Chivas win 3-0 an advance. Surely letting in two goals is a lot easier then scoring one. Heck if they didnt care about ethics at all they could put the ball in the net themselves. So say the revs let Chivas score the goals and lost 3-0. The scenario would be like this:
Chivas vs. Pachuca vs. Revs
1. Points - All tied
2. Head to Head - No winner determined
3. Goal Differential - Chivas +3, Pachuca +2, Revolution -1
Heres the tricky thing, according to Nick Green you go back to the top and play the string out again with the two remaining teams so it would go like this
Pachuca vs Revs.
1. Points - Tied
2. Head to Head- Revs Won

So what I am getting at here, is that since the Revs will know the result of the Pachuca game before they play, they could intentionally throw the game in order to advance.

man-from-michigan said...

Chivas USA vs Revs is the first match on Sunday, not the second. I think Santos will want to walk away from this tournament with at least one win!