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Given that both Greece and Russia were tied on 4 points, with Russia having +2 goal difference and Greece having +0, why did Greece finish higher than Russia (and thus progress to the knock-out stages) in the group in Euro 2012?

Country     W   D   L   GD  Pts
Czech Rep.  2   0   1   -1  6
Greece      1   1   1   0   4
Russia      1   1   1   2   4
Poland      0   2   1   -1  2

This question seems to indicate Russia should be favoured over Greece (and this is what I thought was the case as well?)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The rules in Euro 2012 (see 8.07) state that if 2 teams are equal on points, the first criteria applied to seperate the teams is the winner of the game of the respective teams. If the teams had drawn and were still equal points, only then would it be decided by goal difference.

If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied, in the order given; to determine the rankings:

  • higher number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question;
  • superior goal difference in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
  • higher number of goals scored in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
  • superior goal difference in all the group matches;
  • higher number of goals scored in all the group matches;
  • position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see Annex I, paragraph 1.2.2);
  • fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
  • drawing of lots.

An exception to this is 8.08, which handles cases where two teams are tied, and they play each other in their last group match;

If two teams which have the same number of points, the same number of goals scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of that match, the ranking of the two teams in question is determined by kicks from the penalty mark (Article 16), provided no other teams within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches. Should more than two teams have the same number of points, the criteria listed under paragraph 8.07 apply.

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It's because Greece beat Russia 1-0. In the Euro, when teams are equal on points the decider is which team beat the other. Goal difference is the second decider in the event of the two teams having drawn their match.

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Basically... Greece got through due to head to head vs russia (1-0 win) but holland can still qualify because if they win by more than two goals then 3 teams will be on the same points meaning the head to head results no longer counts, so it goes to goal difference

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The first criteria applied to seperate the teams is the winner of the game of the respective teams (head to head). If the teams had drawn and were still equal points, only then would it be decided by goal difference. This follows the Champions League method rather than the world cup method.

Enforced, basically, to stop a 'Peru 78' type event, whereby Argentina intentionally delayed the kick-off of its last match to await the result of the Brazil-Poland encounter which favoured Brazil, 3-1. Argentina now had to beat Peru by four clear goals to reach the final. The hosts managed to do it with what some saw as a suspicious degree of ease. Trailing 2–0 at half-time, Peru simply collapsed in the second half, and Argentina eventually won 6–0.

source: personal knowledge but text from: Wikipedia

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-1: I don’t see how tiebreaking by head-to-head match result could help avoiding the Argentina–Brazil situation when their head-to-head match ended with a goalless draw. –  Mormegil Jun 22 '12 at 10:33
    
It wouldn't have helped in that instance had it been implemented, but that was why it was introduced to give another layer before relying on goal difference. –  TheCellarRoom Jun 22 '12 at 15:53

protected by Community Jun 19 '12 at 15:00

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