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Discussion Starter #1
This group is extremely close now and after the completion of the Mexico-Ecuador match, we now look forward to the all important last round of matches. Here is the current ladder.

Ladder

1. Mexico ................... 6 ... 3-1
2. Italy ...................... 3 ... 3-2
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3. Croatia .................. 3 ... 2-2
4. Ecuador ................. 0 ... 1-4

Mexico on top by a game, over Italy and Croatia both on 3 points. Ecuador sits bottom but mathematically they still hold a chance of qualifying.

Next Matches

Mexico vs. Italy
Ecuador v.s Croatia

Italy and Mexico face each other next and that match will have a big influence on the standings. Croatia faces Ecuador in a match both teams would need to win if they want to qualify to the Second Round.

For Mexico to Qualify

Do not lose. A win or a draw would guaruntee the Mexicans a spot in the next round. If they lose, they are still a chance. Just say they lose to Italy. Italy would go on top because of goal difference, but they would still be on top of Croatia and Ecuador. They would need to hope for a draw or an Ecuador win in this case.

The only way they would fail to qualify is if both Italy and Croatia win and Croatia's goal difference leap frogs Mexicos. Mexico should hope that Italy do not get a comfortable win otherwise Croatia might overtake them.

For Italy to Qualify

To be 100% sure, they must win. This way, they would definately overtake Mexico on the standings. Although they would both by equal on 6 points, they would go above Mexico on goal difference. The minimum winning margin is obviously 1. If Mexico is +2 and Italy +1, and Italy wins by 1 goal, then Mexico would be +1 and Italy +2. This sees Italy overtake Mexico and get a definate spot in the next round.

What happens if they draw? They still have a chance. They would need to hope that if they draw, that Croatia doesn't win. If they do win, then bye-bye Italy. Also, if Italy loses, then their only hope is that Ecuador wins. If Italy and Croatia both lost, then excluding a suprise scoreline in either of the matches, Italy would still go through on goal difference.

For Croatia to Qualify

They have no definate way of advancing, they must hope on the other results. This situation is very complex and depends on the score and goal difference. Heres a situation that could happen.

Croatia 1-0 Ecuador, Italy 1-0 Mexico

1. Italy ...... 6 ... 4-2
2. Mexico ... 6 ... 3-2
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3. Croatia .. 6 ... 3-2
4. Ecuador . 0 ... 1-5

Croatia and Mexico would be level on points and goals, but Mexico would advance because of a better head-to-head record. If Croatia were to score one more goal, or Italy to score one more goal against Mexico, then Croatia would advance on a better goal difference.

But Croatia should hope for an Italy loss. This way, if Italy drew or lost, a Croatian win would see them advance. If Italy wins, then Croatia need to win convincingly or hope that Mexico loses by a lot. A Croatian draw and they would need to hope that Italy loses. A Croatian loss to Ecuador would mean that their only hope is that Italy loses by a lot of they leap frog Italy on goal difference.

For Ecuador to Qualify

God needs to physically come down and pull on an Ecuador shirt. ;) It is almost impossible, but mathematically it can happen. What needs to happen is Ecuador beat Croatia and Mexico beat Italy. But because of the goal difference, Ecuador would probably still be behind everyone. So they'd need a good win to overtake Croatia and hope that Italy suffers a bad loss. It can happen, but don't get your hopes up.
 

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Correction, for Croatia to qualify, we must win by 2 goals. That would make our gd.+2 and we're in for sure, regardless of the other result.
 

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One goal enough for Italy Sunday 9 June, 2002

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Group G remains in the balance as despite winning both their opening games, Mexico are still not assured of qualification.

Following this morning¡¦s result ¡V Mexico-Ecuador 2-1 ¡V Italy now know what it is they need to do in order to go through to the second round.

The Azzurri must beat Mexico by one clear goal in the deciding match next Thursday. Currently Italy have a goal difference of +1 (3 scored, 2 conceded), while Mexico are on +2 (3 scored, 1 conceded).

A win would automatically put Italy ahead of Mexico in the standings as although both would end on 6 points, it would lower the Central American goal difference.

However, even a draw could be enough for Giovanni Trapattoni¡¦s men if Croatia should fail to beat Ecuador in their final clash.

In this case scenario, Mexico would win the Group with 5 points, followed by Italy and Croatia on 4. The Azzurri would take second place on goal difference.

Croatia have a goal difference of 0 (scored 2, conceded 2), while Ecuador are virtually ¡V if not mathematically ¡V out of the running with a ¡V3 goal difference (4 conceded, 1 scored).

In a worst case scenario, Italy could plausibly lose to Mexico and still qualify in second place.

If Ecuador beat Croatia then all three teams would finish level on 3 points. Goal difference again comes into play and if Italy do not lose by more than one clear goal and Ecuador do not beat Croatia by more than three, the Azzurri would qualify.

As the current goal difference is Italy +2, Croatia 0 and Ecuador ¡V3, even losing to Mexico by 2 clear goals could still see them through based on Ecuador lowering Croatia¡¦s average.

Both games will be played on Thursday at 12.30pm BST.

Scenarios:

Italy beat Mexico AND Croatia beat Ecuador ¡V Italy and Croatia qualify

Italy beat Mexico AND Croatia fail to beat Ecuador ¡V Italy and Mexico qualify

Italy beat Mexico AND Ecuador beat Croatia by three clear goals ¡V Italy and Ecuador qualify

Italy draw with Mexico AND Croatia draw with Ecuador ¡V Italy and Mexico qualify

Italy draw with Mexico AND Croatia beat Ecuador ¡V Mexico and Croatia qualify

Italy draw with Mexico AND Ecuador beat Croatia ¡V Italy and Mexico qualify

Italy lose to Mexico AND Croatia beat Ecuador ¡V Mexico and Croatia qualify

Italy lose to Mexico AND Croatia draw with Ecuador ¡V Mexico and Croatia qualify

Italy lose to Mexico by less than 2 clear goals AND Ecuador beat Croatia by less than three clear goals ¡V Mexico and Italy qualify

Italy lose to Mexico by more than 2 clear goals AND Ecuador beat Croatia by three clear goals ¡V Mexico and Ecuador qualify

channel4
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it's a good news that italy only need to score a goal to qualify...italy have to keep a clean sheet and keep attack attack and attak in the mexico game...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah it's good that we just need a win to go through. I think we will get it. We clearly dominated Ecuador, should have been Croatia and will get over the line against Mexico.

It's very interesting in these situations, because every goal counts and is vital to your team qualifying. Thank God we have Vieri!
 
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