# The Chances Volume 1: Qualifying for the knockout stages in a group stage in a soccer tournament

So, I think you’ve got a pretty good idea on what I am doing. But, there are some of you out there that don’t know the soccer lingo, so I’ll tell you:

A group stage consists of 4 teams, each with three or six matches (We’ll use 3) to get points. If a team wins, they earn 3 points. If a team ties with another, both teams get one point. If a team loses, they don’t get any points. Each team faces every single team in their group. Whichever two teams finish with the most points go on the knockout stage, where the odds or mush easier to calculate. If two teams are tied with points, then whoever has the higher goal difference decides it. That is how many goals you’ve scored subtracted by how many you’ve allowed.

The possible combinations of points for any team are listed below.

9, 6, 3, 0, 7, 5, 2, 1, 4

There are 9 combinations of points you can get. Which of those can get you a place in the knockout stages? I think here are some.

9: If you win against every team, then all the other teams must have 6 points or less. Easy!

7: A bit more complicated, though this would guarantee qualification, because the two teams you beat must have 6 points or less.

6: The two teams you beat must have less than 6 points, which means that you can win by getting a higher goal difference than the two teams you beat, or those two teams both slipped up and tied in their match against each other, or they both lost another game.

5: If you beat 1, and tied with 2, that means the most the tied teams can get is 7 and the losing teams; 6. It is possible that if two teams tied their other two matches, they could qualify, by just!

4: If the two teams you beat of tied lose and draw their next two matches, you can qualify.

5 out of 9 of the combinations could make it through to the knockout stages. Did I miss anyone? Comment below.