May 26, 2014

17 Days and Counting - WORLD CUP IN BRAZIL

In 17 days the World Cup begins in Brazil. The matches are scheduled from June 12 through July 13. 

I've enjoyed this event in the past years because I worked with a team of developers at Cox that are from countries in the world where soccer is king.  Also one summer my nephew, Danny, from Panama was here, he is an avid soccer fan. That was in 2006 when Italy beat France, the final match was in Berlin.  We watched the match at Alfredo and Julie's house, my dear friend Alfredo, also a huge soccer fan. Also in Ghana soccer is a significant part of the DNA of all Ghanians.  And the Black Stars qualified for the World Cup during one of my visits.

The first match for Ghana in the 2014 World Cup, June 16th is against USA, both teams from Group G. The match will be on ESPN at 6pm ET. The actual game is being played on the northern coast of Brazil in the city of Natal.  

Cities in Brazil that will host World Cup Matches 

Below are the groupings for the 2014 even in Brazil and an explanation from Wikipedia on how the teams progress from the group matches to the knockout round. 

2014 World Cup Groups 

The current final tournament features 32 national teams competing over a month in the host nation(s). There are two stages: the group stage followed by the knockout stage.[36]
In the group stage, teams compete within eight groups of four teams each. Eight teams are seeded, including the hosts, with the other seeded teams selected using a formula based on the FIFA World Rankings and/or performances in recent World Cups, and drawn to separate groups.[37] The other teams are assigned to different "pots", usually based on geographical criteria, and teams in each pot are drawn at random to the eight groups. Since1998, constraints have been applied to the draw to ensure that no group contains more than two European teams or more than one team from any other confederation.[38]
Each group plays a round-robin tournament, in which each team is scheduled for three matches against other teams in the same group. The last round of matches of each group is scheduled at the same time to preserve fairness among all four teams.[39] The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Points are used to rank the teams within a group. Since 1994three points have been awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss (before, winners received two points).
The ranking of each team in each group is determined as follows:[40]
  1. Greatest number of points in group matches
  2. Greatest goal difference in group matches
  3. Greatest number of goals scored in group matches
  4. If more than one team remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined as follows:
    1. Greatest number of points in head-to-head matches among those teams
    2. Greatest goal difference in head-to-head matches among those teams
    3. Greatest number of goals scored in head-to-head matches among those teams
  5. If any of the teams above remain level after applying the above criteria, their ranking will be determined by the drawing of lots
The knockout stage is a single-elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches, with extra time and penalty shootouts used to decide the winner if necessary. It begins with the round of 16 (or the second round) in which the winner of each group plays against the runner-up of another group. This is followed by the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the third-place match (contested by the losing semi-finalists), and the final.[36]

For all the information go the FIFA web site,