Euro 2024: the improbable criterion which made it possible to decide between Denmark and Slovenia in group C

Euro 2024: the improbable criterion which made it possible to decide between Denmark and Slovenia in group C

Slovenia will undoubtedly regret its draw against Denmark in the qualifiers for Euro 2024. Qualified for the round of 16, since they will certainly be among the four best third places with three points, the Slovenes could have finished at the second place, behind England, and thus overtaking Denmark.

With three points each, the two nations were in fact decided on a (very) rarely used criterion: the qualifying rankings. Because based on the first seven criteria, the tie persisted.

Let’s start with the first: the number of points. With 3 draws on each side, both teams have three points. During their duel in Germany, the final score was 1-1, nothing to decide between them based on the direct confrontation, nor the goal difference during this confrontation. With three draws, the goal differences are necessarily neutral, so you have to look at the number of goals scored. Here again, the two countries scored two goals each.

It was fair play that could have decided between the two teams. This criterion consists of counting the number of yellow cards and red cards. But here again, the tie is perfect: six yellow cards everywhere.

There remains only one way to determine the second: the general classification of the qualifiers. And ironically, Denmark and Slovenia appeared in the same group during the qualifications: group H. But the tie continues, since the two nations finished with 22 points. Thanks to a victory and a draw, Christian Eriksen’s teammates, however, finished first, which gives them second place in Group C and projects them towards a round of 16 against the host country. Amazing !

Slovenia will still have to wait to find out who their opponent will be in the eighth. It will either be Portugal, or the first of the very undecided group E, that of Belgium and Ukraine.

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