UEFA EURO 2024: Best third-placed teams

UEFA EURO 2024: Best third-placed teams

FRIDAY JUN 28,2024

The race to reach the round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams is complete.

While the top two in every UEFA EURO 2024 group were guaranteed a berth in the round of 16, only the four best third-placed teams joined them in advancing. This is how the final picture looked.

Round of 16 fixtures

How the four best third-placed teams are decided

To determine the four best third-placed teams, the following criteria are applied, in the order given:

a. Higher number of points;
b. Superior goal difference;
c. Higher number of goals scored;
d. Higher number of wins;
e. Lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received by players and team officials in all group matches (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
f. Position in the overall European Qualifiers rankings (see Article 23), or if Germany, the host association team, is involved in the comparison, drawing of lots.

Once the four best third-placed teams have been determined, Article 21.05 of the regulations explains which third-placed team plays in which tie. Only after all four sides are known could the allocation to each round of 16 match be made.

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Which round of 16 tie does each third-place qualifier advance to?

Sunday 30 June
40 England vs Slovakia (Gelsenkirchen, 18:00)
39 Spain vs Georgia (Cologne, 21:00)

Monday 1 July
41 Portugal vs Slovenia (Frankfurt, 21:00)

Tuesday 2 July
43 Romania vs Netherlands (Munich, 18:00)

All times CET

How have previous third-placed finishers fared?

The system was introduced for UEFA EURO 2016, with Portugal among the sides to finish third in their group. Fernando Santos's charges reached the last 16 on goal difference alone – before going on to lift the trophy.

Portugal finished third again at EURO 2020, but bowed out in the last 16 while Czechia, Switzerland and Ukraine all advanced to the quarter-finals.

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