The calculators are coming out and even penalties may be needed at Euro 2016 to determine the final placing of teams in the group and who goes into the knock-out stages.
Matters have become more complicated with the increase of the field from 16 to 24 teams, as the two top-ranked teams from each of the groups are now also joined by the best four of the six third-placed teams in the last 16.
Article 18 of the tournament rules determines the placing of the teams and which third-placed teams progress.
Final placings in the groups are determined the following way if two or more teams are tied on points:
a. higher number of points obtained in the matches played among the teams in question;b. superior goal difference resulting from the matches played among the teams in question;c. higher number of goals scored in the matches played among the teams in question;d. if, after having applied criteria a) to c), teams still have an equal ranking, criteria a) to c) are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams in question to determine their final rankings.
If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria e) to h) apply:
e. superior goal difference in all group matches;f. higher number of goals scored in all group matches;g. fair play conduct in the final tournament;h. position in the UEFA national team coefficient rankings
A penalty shootout can also take place at the end of a final group match to determine the placings.
This applies "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 that match ... provided that no other teams within the group have the same number of points on completion of all group matches."
The third-placed teams into the last 16 are determined as follows:
a. higher number of points obtained;b. superior goal difference;c. higher number of goals scored;d. fair play conduct in the final tournamente. position in the UEFA national team coefficient rankings