Aug. 11, 2008
FIVE NOT SO EASY PIECES
How U.S. women can advance in Olympics
Tianjin, China -- A win over New Zealand Tuesday and the U.S. women are into the Olympic quarterfinals.
|A number of scenarios could have U.S. Women's coach Pia Sundhage celebrating.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Americans take on New Zealand at 7:45 p.m. local time (MSNBC and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, 7:45 a.m.).
Group leader Norway leads the way with six points, followed by the U.S. (three), Japan (one) and New Zealand (one).
With six group matches still to play, all of which will have a bearing on who finishes in what order in all three groups, here are the Americans' advancement scenarios:
* If the U.S. and Norway each get at least one point from their final Group G match (via win or draw), the U.S. will finish second in Group F and play the Group G winner.
* If the U.S. wins and Norway loses, the Americans could win the group, provided they were able to overcome a four-goal difference. The U.S. is -1 and Norway is +3 (i.e., if the U.S. wins, 3-0, and Norway loses, 2-0, the U.S. would have six points and +2 goal differential while Norway would have six points and a +1 goal differential). If the Americans win the group, they will play the third-place team from Group E or F.
* If the Americans tie and Norway loses, the U.S. would finish third in the group based an inferior goal differential to Japan and relies on other results to see if they qualify for the quarterfinals as a third place team.
* If the U.S. loses and Norway ties or wins, it would finish third in the group and would have to rely on other results to see if it qualifies as a third-place team.
* If the U.S. loses and Norway loses, it will finish fourth in the group and would not advance to the quarters.