World Cup ClicheEach day during the 2014 World Cup the languagecaster team is explaining a key word or phrase for learners of English in our World Cup Language posts. The group stage is almost over and so today’s phrase is ‘top the group‘.

World Cup Phrase – Top the group

With the group stages of the World Cup coming to a close the second round matches are starting to take shape. We use the verbal phrase ‘to top the group‘ to describe the team that finishes first in each of the groups. If a team tops the group then in the next round they will face a team that finished second in another group – a group runner-up. So, for example, Brazil topped Group A and will face the runners-up from Group B, Chile, in the last sixteen.

  • Example: Despite only drawing with ten-man Ecuador, France comfortably topped Group F.
  • Example: Costa Rica surprised many fans and pundits when they topped Group D ahead of former World champions Italy, Uruguay and England

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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