World Cup: What needs to happen for U.S. to advance?
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) - Seven teams are chasing three places in the knockout stage of the World Cup on Thursday. Here are the basic permutations:
United States vs Germany: Germany would win the group with at least a draw, and is likely to go through even with a loss because of its superior goal difference. The U.S. also only needs a draw to be sure of advancing, and would top the group with a win. The Americans would advance even with a loss if Ghana-Portugal is a draw.
Portugal vs Ghana: Both teams need a win coupled with a decisive result in the other game to have a chance of advancing on goal difference as it would leave two teams tied on four points. However, Portugal also has a minus-4 goal differential to make up, with Germany on plus 4, the U.S. on plus 1 and Ghana on minus 1.
South Korea vs Belgium: Belgium has already advanced with two victories and needs at least a draw to top the group. South Korea needs a victory to have a chance to go through and hope Algeria doesn't beat Russia to have a chance of advancing. If Russia wins or draws against Algeria, South Korea can finish second on goal difference - although it currently trails both teams in that category. Algeria has three points, while Russia and South Korea both have one.
Algeria vs Russia: Algeria would advance with a victory and could even top the group if Belgium loses to South Korea. A draw would be enough for Algeria, as long as South Korea does not beat Belgium.