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Sports Euro 2020 format causes qualification confusion for England

17:55  19 june  2021
17:55  19 june  2021 Source:   thecanadianpress.com

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LONDON (AP) — England’s draw with Scotland showed just how confusing the European Championship format can be for the teams and even the organizers.

a group of people playing football on a field © Provided by The Canadian Press

UEFA’s official website stated ahead of Friday's game that a draw would secure England a spot in the round of 16 with a game to spare.

Once England had underwhelmingly clinched that point after being held to a 0-0 draw by Scotland, qualification seemed likely but not guaranteed.

England coach Gareth Southgate certainly wasn’t celebrating advancing, and his team analysts were left crunching the data.

By Saturday morning, UEFA had determined that England had yet to be sure of at least going through among the four best third-place teams from the six groups.

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As it stands, England is in second place in Group D behind the Czech Republic on goal difference. The two teams will play each other on Tuesday at Wembley Stadium. Scotland and Croatia have one point each and will meet in Glasgow at the same time.

Four points was enough for third-place teams to advance at Euro 2016 when the tournament first expanded from 16 to 24 teams. Even three points was enough for Northern Ireland and eventual champion Portugal to move into the knockout phase, but not enough for Albania and Turkey.

Teams level on points are separated first by their head-to-head record and then by goal difference, followed by goals scored.

Teams can end up hanging around waiting to discover if they make it. Albania had to wait three days in 2016 before finally being eliminated.

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The English are less likely to experience that fate and a victory over the Czech Republic will ensure first place in the group, with no calculations or tiebreakers needed. Then the last-16 match at Wembley would be against the second-place team in Group F, which could be France, Germany or Portugal.

So finishing second could be more appealing for England, since the opponent would be the Group E runner-up, which is currently Slovakia. But the game would be in Copenhagen rather than on home soil in England.

If the third-place team in Group D advances, the opposition would be a group winner.

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Rob Harris, The Associated Press

England beats Germany 2-0 to reach Euro 2020 quarterfinals .
LONDON — England is unburdened by the weight of agonizing history: Germany has finally been beaten in a tournament again. No need to endure more penalty heartache or disallowed goals this time. Just like in the 1966 World Cup final, England triumphed over a German team at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, winning 2-0 to reach the European Championship quarterfinals. And just like in England’s two group wins, Raheem Sterling was on the scoresheet, breaking the tense deadlock in the 75th minute in a move he started and completed. The round of 16 finally saw England net more than once at Euro 2020, and for Harry Kane to shed the pressure on his shoulders by finally scoring.

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