As we said yesterday, half of the quarter-finals are set, with Germany, Greece, Portugal, and Czech Republic set to square off later this week. But there are two more groups to fill out, as Groups C and D do battle today and tomorrow. Each group has one team that is already eliminated (Ireland in Group C, Sweden in Group D), but the other 6 remaining teams are very much alive.
Today, Group C concludes with Croatia vs. Spain and Italy vs. Republic of Ireland. Italy absolutely needs a win vs. Ireland to have any chance to advance; fortunately for them, Ireland has looked rather weak, and the Azzurri come in as favorites. Croatia and Spain sit in joint-first place with 4 points apiece. If either of them wins, they have first place in the group locked up. If they draw and Italy wins, all 3 would be level on 5 points.
At that point, it would go to the third tie-breaker. If the Spain-Croatia tie were scoreless or 1-1, Italy advances. If those guys were to tie at 2-2 or greater, they both advance and Italy goes home. Needless to say, the Italians fear a conspiracy. Let's hope Ireland can get a point from their match and make the tie-breakers unnecessary.
An update coming later on the Blogger Bracket Challenge. In the mean time, you can see that Kate L. has updated the standings, so go check out her post if you haven't seen it yet. Thanks for reading.