We’re pretty late to the table on today’s Iceland update in the World Cup, and we apologize for that. However, with today’s result, the odds are looking increasingly good that we’re only going to have to do one more of them.
In their second match in Group D play today, Iceland found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 decision against Nigeria, a result that greatly limits their odds of advancing out of Group play into the knockout round.
Both of the goals for Nigeria came from the foot of Ahmed Musa, who scored both of his goals in the second half. After a scoreless first half of play, Musa found the back of the net in the 49th minute, and then did so again in the 75th minute to ice it for Nigeria.
The loss drops Iceland into a tie for the bottom in Group D with Argentina, who Iceland tied with in their first match. Croatia, who has defeated both Argentina and Nigeria already, sits atop the group and has clinched a spot in the knockout round. So, how can Iceland advance?
Well, in order for it to happen, Iceland needs to both beat Croatia on Tuesday and hope that Argentia knocks off Nigeria on the same day. If Nigeria defeats Argentina, then Iceland has no chance to advance out of Group D.
But if the above scenario were to happen, both Argentina and Iceland would have four points in group play (remember, three points for a win, one for a tie, and zero for a loss). From there, it would move on to goal differential. Thus far, Iceland has a goal differential of -2 (they’ve been outscored 3-1 in their two games) while Argentina has a goal differential of -3 (outscored 4-1 in their two games).
So, if both Argentina and Iceland were to win on Tuesday, whichever team had a better goal differential would put themselves into second place in Group D and move on to the knockout round.
As things stand right now, the guys from Iceland look to be up against it in their quest to move out of Group play at this year’s World Cup. But hey, who knows? Perhaps they can pull off a Moscow Miracle of their own on Tuesday.