Nate Scott / USA Today
By getting a tie against Portugal, the U.S. is still in fine shape moving forward. The team is tied with Germany at 4 points at the top of the group, and Portugal and Ghana are both tied at 1 point at the bottom of the group.
A U.S. win over Germany would guarantee that the Americans move forward in the tournament.
A U.S. tie with Germany would mean that both Germany and the U.S. would have 5 points, and both teams would advance.
If the U.S. loses to Germany, then it would all depend on what happened in the Ghana-Portugal game. The U.S. will be hoping that Portugal and Ghana tie, which would result in the U.S. advancing no matter what.
If the U.S. loses and there is a winner in the Portugal-Ghana game, the Americans would have to rely on goal difference. As of right now, the U.S. have a +1 goal difference, two better than Ghana’s -1 and five better than Portugal’s -4. In that case, the U.S. would hope Portugal beats Ghana by a small margin, with the Americans not giving up too many goals to Germany.
If, by some chance, the U.S. loses to Germany and is tied with Ghana or Portugal in points and goal difference, the next tiebreaker is total goals scored. The U.S. scored 4 goals in the first two games. Ghana has scored 3; Portugal has scored 2.
If it’s still even after that, here are FIFA’s next tie-breakers:
Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned.
Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned.
Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organizing Committee.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to a lottery.