THE Euro 2020 group stage is getting to its business end.
Italy have become the first team to book their place in the last 16 after thumping Switzerland.
And some teams look likely to be knocked out before the third round of games have even begun.
But things could be even more dramatic in the third game, with the possibility of even a penalty shootout being used to separate teams.
How can a penalty shootout happen in the group stage?
Uefa rules set out a very narrow set of circumstances in which a penalty shootout can be used in the group stage.
They state: "If two teams which have the same number of points and the same number of goals scored and conceded play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of the match, their final rankings are decided by kicks at the penalty mark, provided that no other teams in the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches."
In all other circumstances, the criteria for separating teams level on points is as follows:
- Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
- Goal difference in head-to-head matches between tied teams;
- Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams.
- Superior goal difference in all matches;
- Higher number of goals scored in all group stage matches;
- Highest number of wins in all group stages.
- Lower disciplinary points total determined by the number of cards picked up in the group stages (yellow card = 1 point, red card = 3 points, 2 yellow cards in one game = 3 points);
- Position in overall European Qualifiers rankings.
Has there been a penalty shootout in the group stage before?
There has never been a penalty shootout in a European Championship group stage.
In Euro 2008, France and Italy would have had a penalty shootout had their final group game against each other been drawn.
However, Italy ran out 2-0 winners and France were knocked out.
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