2022-11-24 16:09:23

World Cup group tiebreakers: What happens if points level

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ESPN
By Dale Johnson

The group stage at the 2022 World Cup is in full swing, as 16 teams look to win a place in the knockout bracket.

- World Cup 2022: News and features | Schedule | Squads

The top two in each group will qualify for the round of 16, but how are the teams separated in the table? This is how it works.

1. Group points

This is the easy one. Teams are first ordered by total points from their three matches. It's 3 points for a win, 1 points for a draw and zero for a defeat.

2. Group goal difference

Unlike in UEFA competitions like the Champions League, head-to-head record isn't the next tiebreaker. It's just basic group goal difference -- the net total of goals scored minus goals conceded.

3. Group goals scored

If goal difference is the same, the team with the most goals scored in the group stage will be ranked highest.

This is where it starts to get a little more complicated.

Teams must get out of their group to have a chance of lifting the famous trophy. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

4. Head-to-head record

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