Final matchday

Scenarios for final group games

How teams could make the quarterfinals

Dale Johnson

Alan Dzagoev has put Russia in pole position© PA Photos

GROUP A

Russia need a point against Greece to go through, though they have to win to make sure of top spot in the group. If Russia draw, then Czech Republic will finish top if they beat Poland. The co-hosts can still top the group themselves if they win and Russia lose, though if Russia draw it will come down to group goal difference between them and the Poles. Greece can only top the group if they beat Russia by three goals and Czech Republic draw.

A winner in the game between Czech Republic and Poland will definitely make it through to the quarter-finals. The Czechs are only likely to go through with a draw if Russia pick up a positive result, Poland have to win to progress.

If Greece beat Russia and Czech Republic draw with Poland that will leave three teams on four points, with Poland bottom. The group would then be decided by a mini-league involving only the results of those three nations. As each will have three points it then goes to mini-league goal difference.

Mini-league with Greece win and Czech draw (*GD to change)
TeamWDLFAPTS
Russia1014*1*3
Greece1011*2*3
Czech Republic101353




Present goal difference is Russia +3, Greece -1, Czech Republic -2. This means Greece will definitely go through if they beat Russia, as their goal difference can only improve while they would beat Russia on the straight head-to-head in the event of a winner between the Czechs and Poland.

If Russia, Czech Republic and Greece are level on four points, the only way Czech Republic can go through is if Greece beat Russia by six goals.

GROUP B

Germany are very much in the position of power but their place in the quarter-finals is not yet secure, while Netherlands still harbour hopes of rescuing their campaign.

Germany need a draw or better to top the group, but if they lose to Denmark then the two teams will be level on six points. If Portugal then fail to beat Netherlands, Denmark would finish in first place on the direct head-to-head with Germany. Denmark are guaranteed to go through, most likely in first place, if they beat Germany.

If Portugal and Denmark both win on Sunday that leaves three teams on six points and again the mini-league of three teams comes into play. Once more, all three teams would have three points so it comes down to mini-league goal difference.

Mini-league with Denmark and Portugal win (*GD to change)
TeamWDLFA`PTS
Germany1011*0*3
Portugal101333
Denmark1012*3*3





At present it stands at +1 for Germany, 0 for Portugal and -1 for Denmark. But with Denmark having to win to draw level their goal difference would improve at the expense of Germany's. A single goal win for Denmark would put all three teams on a mini-league goal difference of 0, and Germany would be eliminated on goals scored unless Denmark won by a scoreline of 3-2 or higher.

With a 1-0 win for the Danes (the manner of a Portugal victory over Netherlands is irrelevant here), Denmark and Portugal would have mini-league goal difference of 3-3, which takes it to direct head-to-head meaning Portugal would win the group ahead of Denmark. A 2-1 win or greater for Denmark would see them win the group on goals scored with Portugal in second. A 3-2 win for Denmark would leave Portugal and Germany level on a goal difference of 3-3, but Germany would go through in second with the Danes on the direct head-to-head with Portugal. A 4-3 win for Denmark puts them through as group winners with Germany in second.

If Germany lose to Denmark by more than one goal they are definitely eliminated in the three-team mini-league.

If both matches are drawn, Portugal will go through in second behind Germany as they beat Denmark. Denmark will only need a point to go through in second if Netherlands beat Portugal, and the same applies to Portugal if Denmark do not beat Germany.

Netherlands' only hope is to beat Portugal by two clear goals and hope Denmark lose to Germany, which would then leave three teams level on three points, and yet again we have to go to the three-team mini-league. The teams all beat each other so we go to mini-league goal difference, which stands at Portugal +1, Denmark 0, Netherlands -1. However, as Netherlands would beat Portugal in the final game goal difference would change.

Mini-league with Netherlands win, Denmark loss (*GD to change)
TeamWDLFAPTS
Portugal1013*2*3
Denmark101333
Netherlands1012*3*3

Netherlands would need to beat Portugal by two goals or greater to go through, combined with a Denmark loss. If Netherlands beat Portugal 1-0, with Denmark losing, Portugal would go through on the direct head to head with Denmark (both would have mini-league goal difference of 3-3). Any other one-goal defeat would put Portugal through on goals scored in the mini-league.

Denmark cannot qualify for the quarter-finals under any circumstances if they lose to Germany.

GROUP C

Italy must win to stand a chance of going through to the quarter finals, while Spain and Croatia could both qualify with a scoring draw.

Mini-league if Spain-Croatia draw, Italy win (*GD to change)
TeamWDLFAPTS
Italy020222
Spain0201*1*2
Croatia0201*1*2




Spain and Croatia go into the game in pole position - able to control each other's own destiny by engineering a 2-2 draw. With that result, both teams would go through to the quarter-finals no matter what Italy do.

An Italy win and a draw in the Spain-Croatia game would leave all three sides level on five points, and with the games involving the three sides all finishing as a draw it goes down to goals scored in the mini-league.

If Spain-Croatia finishes 0-0 then Italy would go through as group winners, they will have scored two goals to Spain and Croatia's one, with second place decided by overall group goal difference. That means Spain would go through in second with +4 to Croatia's +2.

If Spain-Croatia finishes 1-1 then it would come down to group goal difference between the three sides, as all three matches will have been drawn by the same scoreline. Spain would be guaranteed to qualify by virtue of their better goal difference with Croatia. If Italy beat Ireland by one goal, or 2-0, they will only finish third in the group. If Italy beat Ireland 3-1 then records will be level and qualification will be decided on each nation's position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system - and that would put Italy though in second ahead of Croatia..

That means that a 3-1 win for Italy, or a two-goal victory of a larger score, or victory by three goals or more, would guarantee their place with a 1-1 draw between Spain and Croatia. With that 1-1 draw Italy can only top Group C if they beat Ireland 5-0, or with a four goal victory of a scoreline 5-1 or higher.

The 2-2 draw, or higher scoring draw, would guarantee Spain and Croatia go through on head to head goals scored with Italy eliminated no matter what margin they beat Ireland by. Spain would top the group with Croatia in second.

At Euro 2004, the same fate befell Italy when a Denmark-Sweden draw of 2–2 or higher would eliminate Italy on goals scored in matches between the three sides regardless of Italy's result. Denmark and Sweden draw 2-2.

If Italy win and either Spain or Croatia lose, then Italy will go through in second ahead of the losing side. Which means a winner in the Spain-Croatia tie is guaranteed to top the group.

Ireland are the first nation to be eliminated from Euro 2012.

GROUP D


England and France go into the final group game level on points and both teams know a draw will guarantee their place in the quarter-finals.


Ukraine have to beat England to qualify, as with a draw and a loss for France they would lose out on the head to head. The only way Ukraine can top the group is if they beat England and France fail to beat Sweden.

France currently lead the table by virtue of a goal difference of one; France and England drew their group game 1-1 so head to head is level. France will definitely top the group if they beat Sweden but England fail to take three points against co-hosts Ukraine.


France only need a point because it is impossible for both England and Ukraine to overtake them as they play each other. In fact the only way France can be eliminated is if Ukraine beat England, and France lose to Sweden by a greater margin in order for their goal difference to be inferior to England's.


England will top the group if they get a better result than France on the final group day, or if they beat Ukraine by a greater margin than France beat Sweden. And, for instance, if England win by two goals and France by one, France will have to score at least two more goals than England to top the group. That is because if England, say, win 2-0 and France 1-0, England would be top on goals scored.


If England and France were both to lose that too would come down to goal difference, similar would apply. For instance, if England lose by one goal and France by two, France would need to score more goals than England to stand a chance of going through in second. So if England lose 1-0 and France 2-0, England would be second by virtue of scoring one more goal.


And if the two teams finish with identical records in the group, England will be placed above France due to their superior UEFA national team coefficient. That can happen, we can see, if England win 2-0 and France win 3-2, or if England lose 1-0 and France are beaten 3-1.


Sweden have been eliminated from Euro 2012.


Follow Dale Johnson on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN

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