All the World Cup tiebreaker rules and knockout round scenarios, explained

With the first round of World Cup group stage action in the books, it’s time to start looking at how FIFA goes about breaking ties in the standings to place teams in the knockout-round bracket. The top two teams in each group advance to the round of 16.

Here’s how the teams are ranked in the groups, as explained by FIFA:

​1. Greatest number of points (each team gets three for a win and one for a draw).

2. Goal difference in all group matches.

3. Goals scored in all group matches.

And if two or more teams still are tied after that? We go to:

1. Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned.

2. Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned.

3. Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned.

4. Greater number of points obtained regarding fair play conduct (yellow cards = minus-1; indirect red card, as a result of a second yellow card = minus-3, direct red card = minus-4, yellow card and direct red = minus-5, with only one of the deductions applied to a player in a single game).

And if, by some quirk, there’s still a tie?

Then there will be a drawing of lots by FIFA’s Organizing Committee.

Here are the current advancement scenarios; this will be updated as the group stage winds down.

All times Eastern.

Group A

Russia and Uruguay have secured passage to the knockout round after just two games, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been eliminated. Russia will earn first place in the group with a win or draw against Uruguay on Monday. (In the case of the latter, Uruguay cannot overtake Russia on goal differential.)

Remaining games

Uruguay vs. Russia, June 25, 10 a.m.

Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt, June 25, 10 a.m.

Group B

Morocco has been eliminated from knockout-round contention. Spain and Portugal both need just a draw to clinch advancement. Iran almost certainly needs to defeat Portugal to have a chance; a draw would give Team Melli four points, not likely enough unless Spain loses by at least two goals to Morocco. If Spain and Portugal both win, first place in the group will be decided by goal differential and then goals scored in their final games.

Remaining games

Iran vs. Portugal, June 25, 2 p.m.

Spain vs. Morocco, June 25, 2 p.m.

Group C

Remaining games

Denmark vs. Australia, June 21, 8 a.m.

France vs. Peru, June 21, 11 a.m.

Denmark vs. France, June 26, 10 a.m.

Australia vs. Peru, June 26, 10 a.m.

Group D

Remaining games

Argentina vs. Croatia, June 21, 2 p.m.

Nigeria vs. Iceland, June 22, 11 a.m.

Nigeria vs. Argentina, June 26, 2 p.m.

Iceland vs. Croatia, June 26, 2 p.m.

Group E

Remaining games

Brazil vs. Costa Rica, June 22, 8 a.m.

Serbia vs. Switzerland, June 22, 2 p.m.

Brazil vs. Serbia, June 27, 2 p.m.

Switzerland vs. Costa Rica, June 27, 2 p.m.

Group F

Remaining games

Mexico vs. South Korea, June 23, 11 a.m.

Germany vs. Sweden, June 23, 2 p.m.

Mexico vs. Sweden, June 27, 10 a.m.

Germany vs. South Korea, June 27, 10 a.m.

Group G

Remaining games

Belgium vs. Tunisia, June 23, 8 a.m.

England vs. Panama, June 24, 8 a.m.

Tunisia vs. Panama, June 28, 2 p.m.

England vs. Belgium, June 28, 2 p.m.

Group H

Remaining games

Japan vs. Senegal, June 24, 11 a.m.

Poland vs. Colombia, June 24, 2 p.m.

Japan vs. Poland, June 28, 10 a.m.

Colombia vs. Senegal, June 28, 10 a.m.

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