World Cup 2018 tiebreaker: how Fifa decides the group stage
Fifa has clarified how positions in the groups will be resolved in the 2018 World Cup. When two teams have the same points, first the goal difference across their three group matches will be used and, if still tied, the number of goals scored will be taken into account. The head-to-head result only comes into play after that.
Fifa tiebreaker criteria
The following gives you the complete list, in order, for what will happen:
- Greatest number of points
- Goal difference in all group matches
- Goals scored in all group matches
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings shall be determined as follows:
- Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
- Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned
- Greater number of points obtained regarding fair play conduct (yellow cards = -1, indirect red card (as a result of a second yellow card) = -3, direct red card = -4, yellow card and direct red = -5, with only one of the deductions applied to a player in a single game)
And if the teams can still not be separated, Fifa's committee will draw lots. Can you imagine the scenes?
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