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This One Chart Explains How The U.S. Can Win The World Cup

Confused by all the different advancement scenarios for the World Cup? This one chart makes sense of them all.

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It happened. America did it. It lost its World Cup soccer game to Germany today, but still managed to advance to the knockout round of 16 teams after Portugal defeated Ghana by a score of 2-1.

Winning by losing? Welcome to Obama’s America.

The U.S. would have won its group and automatically advanced to the next round of the tournament had it beaten Germany today. A tie would also have guaranteed U.S. advancement. An American loss, however, made things a bit more complicated, thanks to the bizarre tiebreaker rules of the World Cup.

Had Ghana won, it could’ve advanced instead of the U.S., even though the U.S. already beat Ghana in the teams’ first game in the World Cup. A U.S. loss even made it conceivable that a coin toss would need to be used to determine which team advanced to the next round.

Thankfully, though, the U.S. loss and Portugal’s win allowed the U.S. to squeak through. In order to help you make sense of World Cup advancement rules for the rest of the tournament, we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet for our soccer-loving readers.

Soccer Cheat Sheet

You’re welcome, America.