Thursday, 28 June 2018

Winners Take It All

Of the the last 16 World Cup group winners from the 2010 and 2014 tournaments, only one (the USA in 2010) has failed to win their Round of 16 match. 

Since the tournament expanded to 32 teams in 1998, the record of group winners and runners up is:

I think what Pinnacle meant to say was that of the last 40 group winners, 31 reached the Quarter-Finals. 

The above table breaks down the elimination round for group winners and runners-up, so for example of the 14 group winners advancing with 9 points, seven made it to the semi-finals, while just one was eliminated in the Round of 16 (Spain in 2006). 

Of the nine group runners-up that survived the Round of 16, six were eliminated in the Quarter-Finals, while two finished third and one (France 2006) lost in the final. Three semi-finalists out of a possible twenty is surprisingly poor although it's a small sample size. 

It's also no help to be an unbeaten runner-up, with 12 of the 15 eliminated in the Round of 16. 

Five of the 31 Round of 16 losses by runners-up were on penalties, with only one group winner (Switzerland in 2006) eliminated by the same method.

Do England really want to finish runners-up today?

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