All Eyes on Brazil as Teams Battle for Soccer Supremacy

Win, Lose or Draw: How Team USA Can Still Advance to World Cup Round of 16

The U.S. can reach the knockout round with a win or tie against Germany, or if Portugal and Ghana draw. But those aren’t the only options.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Don't worry. The United States still has several paths to the World Cup round of 16, following Portugal’s shocking rally to a draw in the final seconds of Sunday’s soccer thriller.

    The United States and Germany both have four points and are atop Group G over Ghana and Portugal who have one point each.

    Germany and the U.S. will play Thursday in Recife, and Ghana and Portugal will kick off at the same time in Brasilia.

    In the group stage of the World Cup, wins are worth three points, and draws are worth one point. All four teams have one game remaining.

    The U.S. can advance with a win or tie against Germany, or if Portugal and Ghana draw. But those aren’t the only options.

    Here are all the scenarios explained:

    If the U.S. wins: The Americans are through to the next round as the winners of Group G and will play the second place team from Group H. (Belgium currently leads Group H, followed by Algeria, Russia and South Korea)

    Germany would finish second unless Ghana or Portugal won and passed Germany on goal differential. Germany currently is plus 4, Ghana is minus 1 and Portugal is minus 4. The second place finisher plays the winner of Group H.

    If Germany and the U.S. draw: Germany wins the group and the U.S. finishes second. The result of the other game is meaningless.

    If Ghana and Portugal draw: The U.S. and Germany advance. Germany wins the group unless the U.S. defeats them.

    If Germany wins: Germany wins the group.

    The U.S. would finish second unless Ghana or Portugal won and passed the U.S. on goal differential. The U.S. is plus 1, Ghana is minus 1 and Portugal is minus 4. So, if the U.S. loses to Germany, it will be rooting for Portugal, because it's less likely that Portugal could pass the U.S. on goal differential.

    —Other tiebreakers: In any of these scenarios involving goal differential, if two teams are tied on points and goal differential, the next tiebreaker is total goals scored. Germany has six goals, the U.S. has four, Ghana has there and Portugal has two.