What happens if teams finish with equal points in the World Cup group stage matches?

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What happens if teams finish with equal points in the World Cup group stage matches?

As the group stage of the 2014 World Cup in Qatar nears its conclusion, each nation’s requirements for advancing to the Round of 16 become clear.

The last round of Group Stage matches will begin on Tuesday as the race to be crowned world champions on December 18 continues. Brazil, France, and Spain have emerged as early contenders for the title, but 2014 champions Germany kept their hopes alive with a draw against Luis Enrique’s squad.

It is common knowledge that the top two nations from each of the eight groups advance to the subsequent round. As a result of unexpected outcomes, it remains possible that certain groups will require a tiebreaker should teams, including England and Wales, finish with the same number of points.

From the FIFA rulebook, these are the factors, in order of significance, that will determine which teams advance to the Round of 16…

Group points

The simplest approach of decision-making. If the top and second-placed nations finish matchday three with more points than the third and fourth-placed nations, they will advance to the next round.

Goal difference

Now that teams are beginning to finish with identical point totals in the standings, further rules must be implemented.

As is the case in leagues such as the Premier League and the Championship, goal differential comes into play next. Subtract the number of goals conceded from the number of goals scored, and the group’s best record will be determined.

Goals scored

If clubs finish with the same number of points and goal differential, goals scored will determine the winner. The team with the most goals scored throughout all three group games advances to the next round.

Head-to-head record

The head-to-head record might create anguish or jubilation for a country as their World Cup chances hang in the balance due to the surprising results in the group stage.

Here is a summary of how the decision is made.

If two teams finish with identical records, the winner of the group match between them advances to the round of 16.

If three teams finish with identical records, matches involving the three contenders cannot be utilized to determine the winner at this time. Instead, the results of all three teams against the fourth team in the group must be subtracted from the final standings, and the new three-team group is determined by points, goal difference, and goals scored in descending order.

In recent seasons, the UEFA has begun substituting similar metrics for goal difference in its best club championships.

If four teams end with identical records, head-to-head matchups cannot be used to determine the winner, hence another method must be employed.

Fair play record

If teams cannot be distinguished by any of the four preceding criteria, then fair play records are evaluated. This has only previously occurred once before, at the 2018 World Cup, when Japan advanced out of Group H by virtue of Senegal’s elimination.

t is worked out as follows:

Yellow card – minus one point

Indirect red card – minus 3 points

Direct red card – minus 4 points

Yellow card and direct red card – minus 5 points

Starting with the point totals of the tied nations, the team with the highest remaining total advances to the next stage of play.

Draw a name from a hat

A member of the World Cup organizing committee from a neutral country conducts the draw, and the lucky winner advances.

What happens if teams finish with equal points in the World Cup group stage matches?

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