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A curious league table

A curious league table

– a brief observation

This league table would break the heart of any Scot. It is the table of Group 2 of the “tournament phase” (the final phase) of the 1974 FIFA World Cup. The top two teams, shown on a green background, advanced to the next round of the tournament phase. Scotland failed to advance despite not losing any matches: the only team ever to do so.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
flag of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 3 1 2 0 10 1 +9 4
flag of BrazilBrazil 3 1 2 0 3 0 +3 4
flag of Scotland Scotland 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4
flag of ZaireZaire 3 0 0 3 0 14 −14 0

The mathematical interest in this league table, however, is that it is possible to work out, from the league table alone, the exact scores of all 6 matches in the group. Try it yourself! It isn’t hard.