2014 World Cup: 5 Ways USMNT Can Still Advance To Round Of 16

2014 World Cup: 5 Ways USMNT Can Still Advance To Round Of 16

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Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports

The United States men finished in a 2-2 draw against Portugal Sunday evening when they had a brilliant chance to win it and send themselves on to the knockout stage. While it was disappointing in that respect, the U.S. still have a wonderful chance to advance, and here's how it can happen.

5. USA Beats Germany

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

5. USA Beats Germany

clint dempsey
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In this unlikely scenario, the U.S. would actually win Group G, sending Germany down to second place. Both teams are sitting on four points heading into Thursday's match.

4. USA Draws With Germany

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

4. USA Draws With Germany

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

This is what fans are realistically hoping for. If the U.S. can draw with Germany, that would award both a single point, putting them out of the reach of Portugal and Ghana. Germany would win Group G because of an advantage in goal difference.

3. USA Loses, Ghana/Portugal Draw

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

3. USA Loses, Ghana/Portugal Draw

fabian johnson
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn't matter how bad or embarrassing the loss, the U.S. moves on if Ghana and Portugal draw because they both would be awarded only a single point. To keep it that much more interesting, both games begin at noon on Thursday.

2. USA Loses by 1, Ghana Wins by 1

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. USA Loses by 1, Ghana Wins by 1

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is where it gets interesting. The U.S. and Ghana would be tied for second with four points apiece. If it's a one-goal win for Ghana and one-goal loss for the U.S., the goal differential is even and it moves to which team has more goals. Currently, the U.S. have one more goal scored than Ghana.

1. USA Loses, Portugal Wins

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

1. USA Loses by Less Than 2, Portugal Wins by Less Than 3

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. and Portugal would tie for second in this scenario. It would take a five-goal swing to knot it up in the goals differential department. For example, Germany would have to win 2-0 and Portugal would have to win 3-0. If that happens, they would be level on points, goals scored, goal differential and head-to-head result. In that case, the two teams would flip a coin to see who advances to the knockout stage.

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