womenforfootball.com – What an exciting feast the Draw Ceremony was to celebrate the journey to 2014 Brazil World Cup games.
The Draw Ceremony, closely anticipated by millions of Football fans and Sport media around the world, set the stage for 32 participants to find out their Group Game opponents in 2014 World Cup games.
The World Cup Draw successfully matched usual big guns of World Cup such as Spain and Netherlands against each other, or Uruguay and Italy against each other, or Germany and Portugal.
As pundits and bookmakers rate which group teams got the most difficult draw, or which group is easiest, the idea came to mind to rate each group’s difficulty based on its teams’ recent World Cup qualification form, as well as its teams’ consistency in previous World Cup appearances.
So the 5 Criteria are below:
1. Consistency Factor: Appearance in the last 3 consecutive World Cup games (2002, 2006 and 2010) : 1 Point
2. Success Factor: Appearance in Semifinal of last World Cup games( World Cup 2010): 3 Points
3. Most Important factor: Being a Host of this Competition and/or Winner of last World Cup (World Cup 2010): 5 points each.
4. Competence Factor: First Qualifier team from their Continent ( during 2014 World Cup qualifiers): 1 point.
5. Strong Form Factor: Team with highest point in their Continent ( during 2014 World Cup qualifiers): 1 point
As per ranking, being a Host in this competition and having Home Advantage is always the most critical factor for a team’s success in the group. As evident in previous World Cup games, the hosts had easier run towards later stage of the games, and therefore their opponents were almost always in disadvantage. Also being the winner of last World Cup, adds a particular weight to that team’s expectations and also is hardest on their opponents.
Teams that met the Competence criteria(#4) consist of following 7 teams: Nigeria, Japan, Argentina, U.S, Costa Rica, Netherland and Italy.
Teams that qualified with highest point in their qualification groups(Criteria #5), compared to other qualification groups in the same continent, are: Ghana, Japan, Netherland, Germany, Argentina and USA.
In Group A, Brazil is the host and has appeared in the last 3 competitions. Therefore they got 6 points, while other grouped teams are clearly in disadvantage as they did not meet any of the 5 criteria.
Spain leads the pack in this group, considering they took 2010 World Cup glory home, they have appeared in the last 3 consecutive World Cup games, and have been in Semifinal of last World Cup.
Netherlands is closely following Spain with 6 points.
Chile although in strong form recently, they lack previous success at World Cup stage.
Japan leads Group C, considering they have appeared in the last 3 World Cup competitions, they have qualified as first team of Asia and also qualified with highest point in Asian Qualifiers.
Uruguay leads in this group, considering they successfully made it to Semifinal of last World Cup.
Italy is closely followed with 2 points, considering their previous appearances in World Cup games, as well as qualifying as first Qualifier(on the same day as Netherlands) from Europe.
Costa Rica, although were not present consecutively in the past 3 World Cup games, but they managed to qualify as first team(as well as USA) in CONCACAF.
England has appeared in the last 3 World Cup games, but failed to meet other criteria.
This Group seems to be the most even group. Switzerland and France both have a point, considering their last appearances. Ecuador and Honduras failed to meet any of criteria.
Argentina is leading this group. Except Criteria #2 and #3, they met other criteria to earn 3 points.
Nigeria, managed to qualify as the first team of Africa, so they earned 1 point in this ranking.
Iran, while having 2nd highest point in Asian qualifiers, they could not reach Japan on point-basis, so they could not earn any point.
Also Bosnia could not meet any of the criteria.
All teams in this group have earned some point, which this chart shows this group is particularly competitive.
Germany leads the group, considering their last 3 appearances, successfully making it to Seminal of World Cup 2010, and qualifying with highest point from Europe(Along with Netherlands).
USA, had had 3 previous appearances, managed to qualify as first team of CONCACAF, and Qualifier with highest point from CONCACAF. So 3 points in total.
Portugal, earned 1 point for having previous appearance in the last 3 World Cup games.
Ghana earned their 1 point for qualifying with highest point in African qualifiers.
This group is also closely contested but teams are in lower track record.
Among the group, only South Korea managed to earn a point and that was because of their appearance in the last 3 World Cup games.
Now lets see the Comparison chart of Groups(based on total points):
As evident in the chart, although Group B consist of 2 big guns and this group passed the test with highest point compare to other groups, but Group G could be called as “Group of Death” in literal term, as all teams in this group earned some point based on criteria above. In fact they are the only group that each of its teams have earned at least one point.
Statistics and Charts show this fact; There will clearly be so many contentious games ahead, specially Group G’s.