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June 22, 2010

Tiebreaker draw 1 hour after matches

Associated Press

PRETORIA, South Africa -- If the U.S. and England finish even on all tiebreakers for second place in World Cup Group C, a drawing of lots to determine which team advances would take place at Soccer City in Johannesburg one hour after the games.

The U.S. plays Algeria at Pretoria, and England meets Slovenia at Port Elizabeth on Wednesday in the final matches of the group at 10 a.m. EDT.

Slovenia (1-0-1) leads with four points, followed by the U.S. and England (both 0-0-2) with two apiece, and Algeria (0-1-1) with one. The U.S. and England both have even goal differences, and the Americans are ahead 3-1 in the next tiebreaker, goals scored.

If the Americans and English both draw, and England scores two more goals than the U.S. on Wednesday, both teams would finish tied for second, requiring the drawing of lots.

U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said the lots would be similar to the World Cup draw, in that a person selected by FIFA would select a ball from a bowl to determine who advances.

The only time lots were used in a World Cup was in 1990, a 24-team tournament in which the top two teams in each of six groups advanced along with the four best third-place teams.

Ireland and the Netherlands finished with three draws and two goals in Group F, trailing England. The Irish and Dutch both were assured of reaching the knockout stage, and FIFA used lots to determine the Irish finished second and the Dutch third.

The Netherlands lost to West Germany 2-1 in the second round. Ireland defeated Romania 5-4 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie, then lost 1-0 to host Italy in the quarterfinals.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press