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Euro 2020

Euro 2020: What happens if teams are level on points, goal difference and goals scored in the group stage?

EURO 2020 group stages are coming to a close with the knockouts about to get underway.

The top two teams from the six groups will go through to the knockout stages of the competition.

The final positions in the Euro 2020 group stages could be confusing
Despite finishing 3rd in group F, behind Hungary and Iceland, Portugal progressed into the knockout stages as one of the best 3rd placed teams and they went all the way to win the competition

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And they will be joined by four of the best third-placed teams.

But what happens if two or more teams are level on points, goal difference and goals scored in the group stage?

What happens if teams are level on points, goal difference and goals scored in group stage?

As per Uefa’s article 20, if two or more teams finish the group stages level on points, the head-to-head record will decide where the teams are placed.

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This system is used in all Uefa competitions, including the Champions League and the Europa League.

The procedures to determine ranking are as followed:

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches between tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams.

If, after following the criteria above, the teams are still level, the next stage of the process takes the whole group into account.

The process is as followed:

  1. Superior goal difference in all matches;
  2. Higher number of goals scored in all group stage matches;
  3. Highest number of wins in all group stages.

And if you still can’t separate the teams tied, the process turns its attention towards the team’s disciplinary record in the group stages.

A red card is scored as three points, a yellow card is scored as one and two yellow cards in one match count as three points.

The last resort is separating the two teams based on their overall European Qualifiers ranking.

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The final procedures for separating teams:

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  1. Lower disciplinary points total determined by the number of cards picked up in the group stages (yellow card = 1 point, red card = 3 points, 2 yellow cards in one game = 3 points);
  2. Position in overall European Qualifiers rankings.

The last time we saw two tied team’s positions decided was back in 2018 when Senegal was cruelly knocked out of the World Cup by Fair Play points for picking up more cards than Japan.

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