Can Ireland still qualify with four points?
Yes, it’s still possible. Although it’s likely dependent on Croatia performing well in their subsequent matches. For example, Ireland could qualify if they draw with Spain and beat Italy, provided Croatia avoid a loss against both Spain and Italy.
Can Ireland still qualify on four points if Croatia lose one or both of their games?
It depends. If Croatia lose to Spain and beat Italy, they’ll need to beat Spain and get at least a draw with Italy. If Croatia beat Spain and lose to Italy, they’ll need to beat Italy and secure a draw or better against Spain. Keep in mind that if two teams end up level on points, the team that triumphed when the two sides in question met will ultimately progress.
But if Ireland draw with Spain and beat Italy, and Croatia draw with Spain and lose to Italy, it would probably come down to goal difference in the games not involving Spain (who would be eliminated on three points).
However, if Ireland draw with Spain and beat Italy, and Croatia draw with Italy and lose to Spain, Spain will qualify top on five points and Croatia will finish second on four points by virtue of the fact that they have a better head-to-head record with Ireland.
In the highly unlikely scenario that Ireland get six points, is there any chance that they’ll miss out on qualification?
No. Although they’ll still be relying on Croatia failing to win both their remaining games in order for them to top the group and be awarded with a (presumably) less daunting quarter-final match, given the winners of Group C will face the runner-up in Group D and vice versa.
If Ireland lose against either Spain or Italy, are they definitely out?
Was calculating all these potential outcomes even more taxing than the recent Leaving Cert Higher Level Maths paper?