Unless you enjoy sadness and tears — and really, who doesn’t? — no reason to watch the England-Costa Rica game this morning unless you are English or Costa Rican. And even if you are either English, you’re probably better off tuning into the Italy-Uruguay match just feel the warmth of happiness and hope, not the possible despair that will come should Three Lions lose for the third time. (Costa Ricans can be forgiven for tuning in as a win secures their spot at the top of Group D, which is all the more reason why English supporters should stay away.) Italy advances with either a win or a draw and Uruguay advances with a win. Mario Balotelli failed to make good on his promise to help send England on to the next round, and Italy fell to Costa Rica 1-0 on Friday as the Italians, who had looked so strong against England, didn’t have an answer to an aggressive Costa Rica side. This should give some hope to Uruguayans as once again Luis Suarez — who looked to be in top form against England after missing the opening match against Costa Rica — starts in place of Diego Forlán.
The afternoon games are a little more complicated for advancement as Greece takes on Côte d’Ivoire and Japan plays Colombia. Colombia has already secured enough points to move out of Group C while Côte d’Ivoire needs to win against Greece, or a draw with a Japan loss, a draw with Japanese draw (then they have the tiebreaker). Greece needs to win and have Japan lose or draw, or a win with a Japanese win (where they too also have the tie breaker). Japan has the hardest road with a needed win against the leading Colombia and a win or a loss by Côte d’Ivoire.
See? That’s not hard to remember. American fans who complain that the draws make it more complicated to remember standings (as if ties don’t exist in the NFL, NHL and in some cases, MLB All-Star games), are being pouty, insolent and are just jealous of everyone else having a good time. Or to borrow a piece of Douglas Adams and paraphrase it for World Cup summer fun, “Many respectable fans said that they weren’t going to stand for this — partly because it was a debasement of sports, but mostly because they didn’t get invited to those sort of parties.”