Euro 2024: How Two Nations Will Be Separated if They Are Level on Points and Goal Difference

Euro 2024: How Two Nations Will Be Separated if They Are Level on Points and Goal Difference

Rene Otinga
updated at June 21, 2024 at 1:22 PM
In this article:
England logo
Denmark logo
UEFA European Championship logo
  • England are yet to secure a place in the Euro 2024 knockout stages after a drab 1-1 draw against Denmark on Thursday, June 20, 2024
  • There is an outward chance The Three Lions could be level on points with Denmark once the group stage is concluded
  • In this case, the rules state that the two teams would have to be separated by a tiebreaker, which will take into account the disciplinary record of the two teams

PAY ATTENTION: Checkout Fixtures; Live Scores; Results and Tables section on Sports Brief and never miss out on the action ⚽️

What would happen if two teams finish level on points and goal difference at the Euro 2024?

After the first two rounds of group games, this scenario is not hard to fathom, particularly in Group C, which includes England, Denmark, Slovenia, and Serbia.

Gareth Southgate, England, Denmark, Euro 2024, Tie breaker, UEFA rules.
Gareth Southgate's team could be level on points and goal difference with Denmark after their next game on June 25, 2024. Photo: Harry Langer/Matt McNulty.
Source: Getty Images

The Three Lions put up another dull performance on Thursday, June 20, 2024, as they drew 1-1 with the Danes - a result which prolonged Gareth Southgate’s wait for a place in the last 16.

As reported by BBC, Harry Kane’s opener was cancelled out by Morten Hjulmand’s wonder strike just after the half-hour mark, with the two nations sharing the points at the Frankfurt Arena.

England, despite two disappointing opening games, remains top of Group C with four points.

What if England and Denmark are level on points?

Heading into the final round of group games, England could find themselves in a unique situation if they fail to collect maximum points against Slovakia.

If the Three Lions draw 1-1 with Slovenia and Denmark beats Serbia 1-0, the Danes would be level on points and goal difference with Gareth Southgate’s side.

Since the two nations drew their game 1-1, a head-to-head comparison to determine which nation has the edge would be out of the question.

The tie-breaker

According to the UEFA tie-breaker rules, nine considerations determine which teams advance to the Euro 2024 knockout stages.

The three 'obvious' considerations to determine which team advances include:

  • The team with the highest number of points,
  • The team with the superior goal difference
  • The team with the highest number of goals scored from the head-to-head matches played between the two teams in question.

If nothing separates the two teams after the above factors are applied, it gets more interesting, as the team with the highest number of goals in all group matches will have the advantage.

Disciplinary points

Using the England and Denmark example, if the two teams are unable to get separated using any of the criteria mentioned above, then the team with a better disciplinary record will advance to the knockouts.

As per the UEFA rule book, "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.).”

In this case, Denmark is at a disadvantage as Hjulmand has collected four bookings compared to England’s one.

Harry Kane achieves 2 milestones vs Denmark

Sports Brief also reported on the two milestones Kane achieved with his goal against Denmark.

Kane opened the scoring for England with his first goal of the tournament, slotting home from a few yards out after Kyle Walker created a chance for his team from nowhere.

His strike in the first half meant he has amassed 13 goals at major international tournaments for the Three Lions - more than any other player.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and