England and Belgium will play in a World Cup match nobody wants to win thanks to the knockout bracket’s ‘half of death’ | Tech News

While teams are normally looking to win games at the World Cup, both England and Belgium have every reason to hope they lose on Thursday as it would improve their placement in the knockout bracket.

caption
While teams are normally looking to win games at the World Cup, both England and Belgium have every reason to hope they lose on Thursday as it would improve their placement in the knockout bracket.
source
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
  • England and Belgium will meet in a World Cup match that neither team wants to win.
  • The World Cup knockout bracket has already begun to take shape, and it’s clear that one side of the bracket is a much more challenging path to the final.
  • The winner of Group G will be placed in the “half of death.”
  • England is currently leading the group, but only on the “fair play” tiebreaker, meaning Belgium could still win the group even if the match ends in a draw.

England and Belgium have both already punched their tickets to the knockout round of the 2018 World Cup, but that doesn’t mean that their matchup on Thursday will be without consequence.

As it turns out, the outcome of the match stands to be highly beneficial – to the loser.

The knockout bracket of the World Cup is set with groups sending their top two teams to opposite sides, a process usually makes for a fairly evenly stacked bracket. But thanks to a number of upsets and disappointing starts from known powerhouse countries, one side of the World Cup bracket looks overpowering, while the other currently provides a seemingly more friendly path to the final.

The winner of Group G will go to 1G. That side includes four of the top seven teams in the world rankings and no team ranked lower than 15th. Meanwhile, the second team will go to 2G, a side that only has one of the top nine teams in the world (No. 6 Switzerland) and three teams ranked 20th or lower, including No. 70 Russia.

World Cup bracket

source
FIFA

Simply put, neither England nor Belgium should want to win this game.

England currently sits ahead of Belgium in the standings, but that could change even if the teams draw, as England is in first due to the “fair play” tiebreaker, which scores teams based on yellow and red cards when goal differential and goals scored aren’t enough to determine a winner.

For that reason, don’t be surprised if you see a few extra fouls between the two sides on Thursday.

More World Cup coverage:

Comments are closed.