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Thursday, June 26, 2014

USA vs. Germany! (and some nerdy analysis)

Today is the day!  Americans everywhere are finally excited for soccer and German-Americans are unsure who to cheer for.  It's exciting and nervewracking, even with statistics working in favor of both Germany and the USA.

Any real Patriot would be fine with red or blue outcomes (source: Forbes)

Some awesome person took the time to make that chart so lazier nerds like myself can see all the possible outcomes of the Group G games.  The chart is color-coded to show who would advance to the final 16 (the top 2 teams in each group advance).  It's like those Mendel Matrices we used to do in high school bio class to figure out the likelihood of a couple's child having blue or brown eyes.  This one is a little more complex, but works in the same way.  The US vs. Germany possible results are on the top and the Portugal vs. Ghana results are on the left.  Group G's top 2 depend on the outcome of both games.  So, for example, if it's a 1-1 draw in both games, Germany is 1st and US is 2nd, with both teams advancing.  In almost every outcome, if the US beats Germany, the US will be 1st and Germany 2nd, with both teams advancing.

Here's more of a breakdown:
  • -218/256 (85%) possible outcomes have USA and Germany advancing. (Red + Blue)
    Not going into more detail, it's slightly more likely that Germany will take 1st in these outcomes.
  • 30/256 (12%) possible outcomes have Germany and Ghana advancing. (Orange)
  • 3/256 (1%) possible outcomes have Germany and Portugal advancing (Green
  • 2/256 (0.8%) possible outcomes have Germany advancing and Portugal and USA drawing lots (Purple)
  • 2/256 (0.8%) possible outcomes have USA advancing with Germany and Ghana drawing lots (Army Green)
  • 1/256 (0.4%) of USA and Ghana advancing (Yellow)

I know most of my American friends will be rooting for the US to win, which is a totally fine outcome for me.  If they win, it's almost certain that both my teams will advance.
But, for anyone else cheering for Germany and USA to advance to the final 16, it's probably more important to cheer for Portugal.

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