Euro 2021 third-place rules: How best 3rd-place teams advance from groups

Euro 2021 third-place rules: How best 3rd-place teams advance from groups



The group stage of the 2021 Euros will see 16 of the 24 teams advance to the knockout rounds. 

In addition to the top two teams in each of the six groups (12 in total), the four best third-place finishers will also qualify for the Round of 16. 

To make it easy, we’ve created a separate standings table (below) for the current third-place teams which is updated after every match. The lucky four teams to move on are determined by the following criteria established by UEFA in this specific order:

  1. most points
  2. superior goal difference
  3. most goals scored
  4. most wins
  5. fewest disciplinary points in group stage matches
  6. position in the overall European Qualifiers rankings

Switzerland is the first team to mathematically advance as a third-place team. Its four points are already better than two other teams that also wrapped up group-stage play: Ukraine and Finland.

Croatia and Spain are currently on the outside looking in with Switzerland, Portugal, Ukraine and Finland having superior point totals. But Croatia and Spain still have a final match to play.

Third-Place Teams (top 4 advance)

Team Group PTS GP W L D GF GA GD
1. Switzerland-X A 4 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1
2. Portugal F 3 2 1 1 0 5 4 +1
3. Ukraine C 3 3 1 2 0 4 5 -1
4. Finland B 3 3 1 2 0 1 3 -2
5. Spain E 2 2 0 0 2 1 1 0
6. Croatia D 1 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1

(PTS=points, W=Wins, L=Losses, D=Draws, GF=Goals For [Scored], GA=Goals Against [Allowed], GD=Goal Difference)

X = advances to Round of 16

Once we know all four 3rd-place teams that will be advancing, the next step will be to figure out their opponent in the Round of 16.

UEFA has already outlined the Round of 16 matchups based on the groups from which the third-place teams hail (page 19 of tournament regulations). The predetermined permutations follow below:

Round of 16 Pairings

3rd-Place Teams vs. B1 vs. C1 vs. E1 vs. F1
A, B, C, D A3 D3 B3 C3
A, B, C, E A3 E3 B3 C3
A, B, C, F A3 F3 B3 C3
A, B, D, E D3 E3 A3 B3
A, B, D, F D3 F3 A3 B3
A, B, E, F E3 F3 B3 A3
A, C, D, E E3 D3 C3 A3
A, C, D, F F3 D3 C3 A3
A, C, E, F E3 F3 C3 A3
A, D, E, F E3 F3 D3 A3
B, C, D, E E3 D3 B3 C3
B, C, D, F F3 D3 C3 B3
B, C, E, F F3 E3 C3 B3
B, D, E, F F3 E3 D3 B3
C, D, E, F F3 E3 D3 C3

Here’s the full Round of 16 schedule with TV and streaming assignments in the USA. We’ll be slotting in the names of the teams as they clinch:

Euro 2021 – Round of 16

Date Match Time (TV channels) Stream
Sat, June 26 Wales vs. Denmark 12 pm ET (ESPN) fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Sat, June 26 Italy vs. Austria 3 pm ET (ESPN) fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Sun, June 27 Netherlands vs. D3/E3/F3 12 pm ET (ESPN) fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Sun, June 27 Belgium vs. A3/D3/E3/F3 3 pm ET (ABC, Univision, TUDN) fuboTV , ESPN app, ESPN3, TUDN.tv
Mon, June 28 D2 vs. E2 12 pm ET (ESPN) fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Mon, June 28 F1 vs. A3/B3/C3 3 pm ET (ESPN) fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Tues, June 29 D1 vs. F2 12 pm ET (ESPN) fuboTV , ESPN app, PrendeTV
Tues, June 29 E1 vs. A3/B3/C3/D3 3 pm ET (ESPN, Univision, TUDN) fuboTV , ESPN app, TUDN.tv





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