Scenarios for the U.S. to advance
England's tie against Algeria certainly helped out the Americans in the standings, but it also proved that Algeria, which the U.S. faces Wednesday, is legit.
Group C remains wide up with all four teams having thoughts of advancing to the Round of 16. What we do know is the U.S. can't afford to lose Wednesday. If that happens, Algeria would earn four points (and the U.S. would be stuck on two) and no matter what happens in the England-Slovenia game, Slovenia already has four points to its credit and would be ranked higher than the Americans.
Therefore, I won't waste your time with the scenarios if the U.S. loses. Below are the other six scenarios, should the U.S. win or tie against Algeria. Remember, the top two teams advance.
U.S. wins, England wins:
U.S. 5, England 5 -- Slovenia 4, Algeria 1
The winner of the group would be determined by goal differential, then by total goals scored. The U.S. and England still have a 0 differential and the U.S. has an advantage in total goals (3-1).
U.S. wins, England ties:
U.S. 5, Slovenia 5 -- England 3, Algeria 1
Slovenia would have a goal differential of 1. If the U.S. won by more than a goal, it would take first place. If it won by exactly one goal, we'd then go to the goals scored tiebreaker.
U.S. wins, England loses:
Slovenia 7, U.S. 5 -- England 2, Algeria 1
U.S. ties, England wins:
England 5, Slovenia 4 -- U.S. 3, Algeria 2
U.S. ties, England ties:
Slovenia 5, U.S. 3, England 3 -- Algeria 2
Slovenia would take the group, while the U.S. and England would go to tiebreakers. Their goal differentials would be equal (at 0), so it would then go to goals scored.
U.S. ties, England loses:
Slovenia 7, U.S. 3 -- England 2, Algeria 2
Obviously, we can see that the U.S. is in a win-and-they're-in situation. Of course, Algeria has proved it isn't a pushover. The team not only went toe-to-toe with the Three Lions, but have also allowed just one goal in two games. The U.S., despite a strong performance in the second half against Slovenia, isn't exactly an offensive juggernaut.