By Ryan Mayer–
(CBS Local) Team USA wraps up the group stage of the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday against Nigeria at 7 p.m. CT on Fox. After two games in the group stages, the U.S. has four points via a 3-1 win over Australia and a 0-0 draw against Sweden the last time out.
Cming into the World Cup, the U.S. was expected to win its group and advance to the knockout round. This match will determine if the Americans are able to do so. The second-ranked Americans are big favorites over the 33rd-ranked Nigerians.
Here are the advancement scenarios, according to ussoccer.com:
USA finishes first in the group…
— With a win over Nigeria tonight
— With a draw against Nigeria and a draw between Australia and Sweden
— With a draw against Nigeria and if Sweden beats Australia by a single goal (based on goal differential, the U.S. would be ahead of the Swedes)
— With a loss to Nigeria and Sweden tying Australia
USA finishes second in the group…
— With a draw against Nigeria and Australia beating Sweden
— With a draw against Nigeria and Sweden winning by two or more goals against Australia
— With a loss to Nigeria and Australia-Sweden ending in anything but a tie.
— With a loss to Nigeria and a draw between Sweden and Australia as long as the US has more “goals for” than Australia
USA finishes third in the group…
-With a loss to Nigeria by two or more goals
Keep in mind that if the American finish third (highly unlikely but possible), they would be in danger of not advancing into the knockout rounds. The top two teams in each group automatically advance, with the next four best third-place teams advancing based on multiple tiebreakers. The most likely possibility is that the USA will advance and more than likely as the top team in its group, which would give them an easier route to the finals.