Saturday, October 31, 2009

Potential Playoff in Africa Group C?

This would be strange. And probably exciting, as well.

A one-game playoff at a neutral site to determine the winner of Africa Goup C.

Here is a link to that story.

In short, the playoff will happen if Egypt defeats Algeria by two goals, in Cairo, on Nov. 14, the last day of Africa qualifying. (Or so we thought.) That would leave Egypt and Algeria with 13 points and identical goals-scored and goals-allowed.

Apparently, the "away goals" tiebreaker sometimes employed ... is not in effect here.

Which brings even more tension to a match that already carried lots of it.

Here are the standings in Africa Group C.

Algeria goes to the World Cup with a victory or a tie. It also goes in the case of a one-goal defeat.

Egypt wins the group if it wins by three goals. (And the Egyptians know well that sort of swing can happen, having been part of it at the Confederations Cup, when the United States defeated the Pharoahs 3-0 to jump into the semifinals.)

But if Egypt wins by two goals ... 2-0, 3-1, whatever ... here comes that one-game neutral-site playoff.

North Africa would be riveted. People in Egypt and Algeria would be almost crazy with anticipation. It would be fun. And it would be a little weird. But that's world soccer for you, isn't it.

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