FIFA has set rules for tie-breakers to decide group stage winners.

After the opening round of matches at FIFA World Cup 2022, fans have a fair idea of which teams can make the knockout stages. Brazil, France, and England are the tournament favorites, while Croatia and Netherlands look like dark horses. Almost every group looks to have determined favourites for group winners and runners-up.

Group A, however, now have two teams on four points each and a third with three points. As the World Cup enters its second week, more teams are likely to be deadlocked on the same points.

Therefore, there is a chance that two or more teams end up with the same number of points in a group at the end of the group stages. If this happens, their fates will be decided by goal difference. But what happens if their goal difference and goals scored are the same?

What happens if two or more teams have same number of points, goals scored, and goals against at the end of group stages at FIFA World Cup 2022?

If teams end the group stages with the same number of points, the team that scored more goals will advance. There is a chance, though, that all of the teams in the tournament in Qatar will end up with the same number of points, goals scored, and goals against. If this happens, a set of rules will be used, including head-to-head and the possibility of using fair play points.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Points obtained in the matches played between the teams level on point/s.
  • Goal difference in the matches played between the teams level on points
  • The number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams level on points.
  • Fair play points in all group matches
  • The fair play point deductions are as follows (only one deduction can be applied to a player in a single match):

Yellow card: -1 point
Indirect (second yellow) red card: -3 points
Direct red card: -4 points
Yellow card and later a direct red card: -5 points

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Are there examples of teams finishing with same number of points, goal difference, and total goals scored at FIFA World Cups?

In the history of the World Cup, only once have teams tied for first place in all three categories.

At the 2018 World Cup, both Senegal and Japan, in Group H, ended with four points. Both teams also scored four goals and conceded four against each other.

However, Japan advanced as it accumulated more fair play points than the African country. The Japanese received a -4 point punishment, compared to -6 for Senegal, and advanced to the Round of 16.

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