Disaster! Korea loses badly to Argentina, but still alive.
Well, everyone who knows anything about soccer expected Korea to lose to Argentina, but nobody expected the team to lose this bad. Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain scored three times in last night’s match, and Korea scored two. A 3-2 score isn’t so bad, but that wasn’t the score of this game, because one of Korea’s goals was scored against itself, a miscue by Park Chu Young. Lee Chung Yong’s goal came just as time was running out in the first half and one of Argentina’s players was having a brain fart. In short, this game was embarrasing. This is the kind of score I expected for the Brazil vs DPR Korea game. The Korean team looked helpless as Argentina basically ran circles around them.
Korea losing 2-1 would have been an accomplishment, 3-1 would have been respectable, but 4-1 is downright nasty. It’s okay, people expected Korea to lose this game and for the outcome to be decided against Nigeria, but they also expected Nigeria to manhandle Greece, which didn’t happen. Well a manhandling happened but it was the Greeks manhandling the Nigerians, further complicating things.
So what happens from here? The final match of group B will be Korea vs Nigeria, and Greece vs. Argentina at 3:30 AM Korea time on the 23rd. Had Nigeria defeated Greece, then Korea’s destiny would have been 100% in their own hands, and Argentina would have qualified for the second round. Now there are some strange scenarios, and even a win over Nigeria doesn’t necessarily guarantee a place in the sweet 16. I’ll list the scenarios here for each team.First, the standings. For those of you who don’t know how the world cup works, in the group stage, a win is worth 3 points and a draw is worth 1 point. If two or more teams finish the group stage with the same number of points, then there are a series of tie breakers. These are: goal differential, total goals scored, then results in common matches.
Argentina – 6points, 5 goals, 1 against
Korea – 3 points , 3 goals, 4 against
Greece – 3 points, 2 goals, 3 against
Nigeria – 0 points, 1 goal, 3 against
It looks like Argentina is sitting pretty here, and can only be eliminated in a very very unlikely scenario, (such as losing by 4 or more to Greece with Korea defeating Nigera by 2 or more).
Korea will advance with:
1. A win vs Nigeria and a Greek loss vs Argentina (ARG, KOR)
2. A win vs Nigeria and a Greek win vs Argentina with higher goal differential than Greece or Argentina (ARG, KOR) or (KOR, GRE)
3. A win vs Nigeria and a Greek draw vs Argentina. (ARG, KOR)
4. A draw vs Nigeria and a Greek loss vs Argentina (ARG, KOR)
5. A draw vs Nigeria and a Greek draw vs Argentina with more goals scored than Greece (ARG, KOR)
6. A loss vs Nigeria by 1 goal margin and a Greek loss vs. Argentina. (ARG, KOR)
Okay, that’s pretty long, so I am not going to do it for each team but it looks like we want Greece to lose to Argentina and we want Korea to (at the very least) lose to Nigeria by only one goal.
Here are the scenarios where Korea doesn’t advance.
1. A win vs. Nigeria and a Greek win vs Argentina with lower goal differential than both Greece and Argentina. ( ARG, GRE)
2. A draw vs. Nigeria and a Greek win vs Argentina (ARG, GRE)
3. A loss vs Nigeria and a Greek win vs Argentina ( ARG, GRE)
4. A loss vs Nigeria and a Greek draw vs Argentina (ARG, GRE)
5. A loss vs Nigera by more than 1 goal and a Greek loss vs Argentina. (ARG, NGA)