Example:
Penalty shoot-out in the last group match

Under the UEFA rules for this tournament, a special case can arise: the penalty shoot-out in the final group match.

Rule:
If the last group match in one of the six groups ends in a draw and both teams have the same score, the same goal difference and the same number of goals scored, then the final placement is not decided by the fair play rating and the overall European Qualifiers rankings, as is usually the case, but by a penalty shoot-out.
But not always!
The prerequisite is that no other team has the same number of points as these two. If that is the case, there is no penalty shoot-out, but the final placement is decided by the usual criteria of the group stage (from the direct comparison of the three teams to the overall European Qualifiers rankings).

Case study:
Let us assume that the following results were achieved in Group A:

Turkey Italy 0 : 1
Wales Switzerland 1 : 2
Turkey Wales 0 : 1
Italy Switzerland 1 : 2
Switzerland Turkey 1 : 1
Italy Wales 2 : 2

Then the group table looks like this:

place team points goals
1 Switzerland 7 5 : 3
2 Italy 4 4 : 4
3 Wales 4 4 : 4
4 Turkey 1 1 : 3

The last group match "Italy - Wales" ended in a draw and the two teams are indistinguishable in terms of points, goal difference and the number of goals scored. If the game "Italy - Wales" was not the last group game, the overall European Qualifiers rankings would decide in favor of Italy (with the same fair play rating for both teams). Italy ranks 2th there. Wales, on the other hand, is in 19th place.

Since the match "Italy - Wales" is the last group match and no other team has reached 4 points, a penalty shoot-out takes place, which decides which of the two ends up in second place in the group.

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Example 2:
No penalty shoot-out in the last group match

despite a draw, equal points and equality of goals

Case study:
We assume that Group B had the following results:

Denmark Finland 1 : 3
Belgium Russia 2 : 2
Finland Russia 1 : 1
Denmark Belgium 0 : 2
Russia Denmark 3 : 1
Finland Belgium 2 : 2

Then the group table looks like this:

place team points goals
1 Belgium 5 6 : 4
2 Russia 5 6 : 4
3 Finland 5 6 : 4
4 Denmark 0 2 : 8

The last group match "Finland - Belgium" ended in a draw and the two teams are indistinguishable in terms of points, goal difference and the number of goals scored. Even so, there is no penalty shoot-out because a third team, in this case Russia, has the same score of 5 points.

The order is therefore determined according to the usual criteria, i.e. in the event of a tie, the three teams with the same number of points are compared first. To do this, look at a table in which only the matches between these three teams are taken into account. In the present case, this table looks like this:

place team points goals
1 Belgium 2 4 : 4
2 Russia 2 3 : 3
3 Finland 2 3 : 3

Belgium is in first place in the table because of the most goals scored. Another direct comparison (only these two teams) will be carried out between Russia and Finland. However, since the direct encounter between Russia and Finland ended in a draw, the fair play rating or - in the event of a tie in the fair play rating - the overall European Qualifiers rankings will decide. Russia is in 12th place and Finland in 20th place.

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