These permutations make me giddy


After round 1, I said the Russians and the Greeks would go through provided the Poles didn’t stun the Russians and the Greeks didn’t falter against the Czechs. Well, both of the unwanted scenarios did happen but at half time yesterday when Greece were leading Russia by a goal and the Poles and the Czechs were engaged in a goalless draw, the Greeks and Russians were still on course to go through!

There was still cause to worry as a goal by either team in the other game would have meant Russia slipping from top of the group down to 3rd. As it stood, the Czechs were propping up the Russians, and as soon as they left the 4 point mark, the Russians would fall behind the Greeks in the standings. That’s the thing about head-to-head results determining the standings, it’s crazy!

Eventually, the Czechs scored, and as time came ticking down, Russians needed either themselves or the Poles to score. Dzagoev’s header went inches wide off the post, Russia were still going out. A Polish player beat the Czech goalie with his strike but a Czech defender tracking back made a goal-line clearance. Oh, the drama! I was willing that ball to cross the line but that was it, the Russians had made one of the more shocking exits out of a tournament in recent years. No one saw it coming. To put it in perspective, it’s like Germany/Spain getting knocked out even after heading into the final round of games top of the table.

So, here are the Group B scenarios.

a) Germany

If Germany win, they will go through as group winners and face Greece in the quarter finals. The Greeks will most probably be without their suspended talismatic Captain but the prospect of defeating Merkel’s team might provide a whole lot of incentive.

If Germany draw, they will still stay top and face Greece in the quarter finals.

If Germany lose and Holland win/draw, Denmark will end up topping the group and the Germans will have to contend with the Czechs in the quarters.

(All the above scenarios will see the Germans going through.)

However, if the Germans lose and the Portuguese win, all hell will break loose and we might end up having another Russia like scenario in our hands.

If the Portuguese win, the Germans can’t afford to lose by a two goal margin, nor can they afford to lose 2-1 or 1-0.

b) Denmark

A win against Germany will certainly see them go through, irrespective of what happens in the other game.

A draw against Germany means they’ll need Holland to beat Portugal. If both the games end in draws, then the Germans and the Portuguese will go through.

If they lose, and Portugal win/draw, they’ll be out.

If they lose, and Holland win, three teams will be tied on 3 points each, and still they’ll go out.

So simply put, a win will see them go through, a draw will see them needing the Dutch to win, and a loss will see them exiting.

c) Portugal

They can afford a draw as long as the Danes don’t win.

They can afford to lose as long as they don’t do it by a margin greater than 1, provided the Danes also lose their game.

If they win and the Danes don’t win, they’ll be through.

If they win and the Danes also win, then shit will hit the fan. In that scenario, the Danes will be through, and it will come down to between Germany and Portugal. In this case, the Portuguese will go through as long as the Germans don’t lose by a single goal margin having scored 2 or more goals. If Germany lose by any other margin (say 1-0, 2-1, 2-0), then Denmark and Portugal will go through.

d) Holland

If they lose or draw, they’ll be OUT.

If they win by a margin bigger than 1, and Denmark lose, they’ll be go through.

If they win by a margin equal to 1, they’ll be OUT.

So, it’s pretty straightforward for the Dutch, expect the Danes to lose and win their game by a margin greater than 1.


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