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Can Ronaldo's Portugal qualify for Round of 16 if they finish third? Euro 2020 knockout qualification scenarios explained!

04:59 BST 23/06/2021
Ronaldo, Halstenberg, Portugal vs Germany Euro 2020
How many third-placed teams qualify for the knockouts? Will head-to-head or goal difference count? Goal explains

Euro 2020 group stage has boiled down to the final matchday. 

Eight teams have so far clinched qualification for the Round of 16 as group winners and runner-ups: Italy, Wales, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, England and Croatia. Switzerland and Czech Republic have already qualified as one of the best third-placed teams. 

Sweden and France are also assured of progression but will have to play their final group games before being classified. 

Meanwhile, numerous giants still fighting it out to make it out of the group stages. Spain are yet to confirm qualification while Portugal and Germany are locked in an epic battle in Group F aka the group of death. 

Let's take a look at qualification rules and criteria in case teams are tied on points at the end of the group stages. 

How do the Euro 2020 groups look like?

Click here to see how the Euro 2020 groups look like right now.

How many teams qualify for the Euro 2020 Round of 16?

There are six groups with four teams each at Euro 2020. 

All six group winners and six runner-ups qualify automatically for the Round of 16. The remaining four spots will be filled by the four best teams out of the six third-placed teams. 

How will the group standings be determined at Euro 2020?

At Euro 2020, in case multiple teams in a group are level on points, head-to-head record will be used to break the tie. If the teams are still level, goal difference will come into play. Here are all the different tie-breaking scenarios at the Euros:

  • Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question (or head-to-head record)
  • Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question (in case of 3 or more teams finishing level on points)
  • Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question (in case of 3 or more teams finishing level on points)

If some of the teams still have an equal ranking after this, the same criteria 1 to 3 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams who are still level to determine their final rankings. 

For example, if the above criteria are used for three teams level on points and after using it, two are still level, the same criteria will be looked at again with the matches between the two teams taken into account. 

If the teams are still level, then the following criteria are applied: 

  • Superior goal difference in all group matches
  • Higher number of goals scored in all group matches
  • Higher number of wins in all group matches
  • Penalty Shootout
  • Lower disciplinary points total in all group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card)
  • Higher position in the European Qualifiers overall ranking.

Will Penalty Shootouts be used to determine Euro 2020 group stage rankings?

If on the last round of the group stage, two teams are facing each other and each has the same number of points, as well as the same number of goals scored and conceded, and the score finishes level in their match, their ranking is determined by a penalty shoot-out. (This criterion is not used if more than two teams have the same number of points).

However, it might not happen this time around as no team with the above mentioned criteria are playing each other on the final matchday.

How do the third-placed teams at Euro 2020 rank right now?

Rank Group Team MP W D L GF GA GD Points
1 D Czech Republic (Q) 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
1 A Switzerland (Q) 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
2 F Portugal 2 1 0 1 5 4 1 3
3 C Ukraine (Q) 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 3
4 B Finland 3 1 0 2 1 3 -2 3
5 E Slovakia 3 1 0 2 2 7 -5 3

What are the rules for classification of third-placed teams in Euro 2020?

1) Points
2) Goal difference
3) Goals scored
4) Wins
5) Lower disciplinary points total
6) European Qualifiers overall ranking

What do Ronaldo and Portugal need to do to qualify?

A draw or a win against France in their final group game will see Portugal qualify for the Round of 16. In case Portugal lose to France, they will finish third in the group (provided Hungary do not upset Germany). 

In this case, unless France do not beat Portugal by a margin of four goals or more, Ronaldo and co. will progress to the Round of 16. 

However, if Germany loses to Hungary, then Portugal will finish fourth if they lose to France (regardless of the margin) and will crash out of the tournament.