England’s 2-1 loss to Uruguay on Thursday dealt a blow to their World Cup hopes, but they aren’t out of the tournament just yet.
Their path to getting out of Group D is actually not as impossible as you’d think.
Here’s what would need to happen, in order.
1. Italy beats Costa Rica (40% chance of happening, according to SPI).
2. England beats Costa Rica (45% chance of happening, according to SPI).
3. Italy beats Uruguay (33% chance of happening, according to SPI).
4. England’s goal difference (currently -2) is better than Costa Rica’s (currently +2) and Uruguay’s (current -1) after all games are played.
Italy would win the group with nine points and England, Uruguay, and Costa Rica would all have three points. England would go through if they somehow have the best goal difference of those three teams (which is unlikely, but possible if the results fall right).
Nate Silver gives it a 3.5% chance of happening.
The easiest path: Italy beats Costa Rica 2-0, England beats Costa Rica 2-0, and Italy beats Uruguay 2-0, and Three Lions would go through.
A lot needs to happen, but there is a way out of this for England.