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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Edition2: Worldcup without Ronaldo

Imagine WC soccer 2010 without Henry and Ronaldo. Bot France and Portugal face uphill task in final leg of qualification faceoffs.
How do the European World Cup playoffs work?
Eight teams are paired off and will meet in a two-game, home-and-away playoff, with the winner of each series earning a spot at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The playoff match-ups are as follows: Ukraine-Greece, Bosnia-Portugal, Slovenia-Russia and Ireland-France. Matches will take place on Nov. 14 and 18.
The simplest way a team can win the series is by winning both games. A victory and a tie would also be good enough for a team to win the playoff.
When both teams win one game each, that's when it gets a bit tricky. In such a case, the first tiebreaker is total goals scored over the two-match series.
So, for instance, if Portugal beats Bosnia in the first leg 4-2, but loses the second 1-0, the Portuguese would win the series because they outscored the Bosnians 4-3 on aggregate.
If both teams each win one match and are still tied on total goals scored at the completion of the two legs, the next tiebreaker is away goals.
So, if Russia wins 3-2 at home, and then loses 1-0 on the road, the aggregate score would be 3-3, but Slovenia would advance, because it scored two road goals (compared with none for Russia).
Likewise, if France and Ireland tie 1-1 in Dublin in the first leg and draw 2-2 in the second game in Paris, Ireland would advance on the away-goals rule.
And of course, if the teams are still tied after that, then the second leg goes to 30 minutes of overtime, and if no goals are scored in the extra period, the series will be decided by a penalty shootout.
Got all that? Good.

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