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World Cup 2014: England warning - No team has ever escaped group stage after losing first two games

History does not bode well for Roy's Boys, but apparently they do have a 12.9 per cent chance
  • @simonrice

Defeat to Uruguay has left England needing a scenario that has never happened before at a World Cup if they are to progress.

LIVE: Follow the latest news from Italy v Costa Rica

After losing 2-1 last night, Roy Hodgson's side are now looking to other results if they are to have any chance of reaching the knock-out phase. Italy must beat Costa Rica today and then beat Uruguay while England will need to beat Costa Rica, possibly by more than one goal.

With Italy the strongest team in Group D, the scenario doesn't seem beyond the realms of possibility, however no team has ever progressed through the group stage after losing their first two games.

Losing one is manageable, as Spain proved at the last tournament when they lost their opener and then went on to lift the trophy. But losing two has always been a step too far.


With England fans clinging on to desperate hope more than anything, analysts Bloomberg Sports have taken a more mathematical approach. According to their research, England have a 12.9 per cent chance of progression.

Whilst that's better than zero, stacked against the other teams in Group D, just how slim England's chances are stark.

According to their research Italy have an 86.4 per cent of going through, Costa Rica 53.5 per cent and England's conquerors Uruguay a 47.3 per cent chance of gracing the latter stages of the tournament.