The final matches in a group stage at a tournament are crucial in determining all participating teams chances of progression. Should a team win all their group matches, then they have secured their place in the next stage. However, for all other teams, calculation as it pertains to their chances at progression begins immediately after the second set of group games. FIFA.com guides you through the qualification process for the Round of 16.
Who qualifies for the Round of 16?
At the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011, all group winners and second-place finishers will advance to the Round of 16. In addition, the four best third-placed teams from the group stage will advance to the next round. To determine the standings in a group, the following criteria will be taken into account.
1) Greatest number of points obtained in all group matches
2) Goal difference in all group matches
3) Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of all three criteria listed above, their group position will be determined by the results from their matches played between each other:
4) Greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
5) Goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
6) Greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned
If two or more teams remain equal after the above criteria has been applied, then a drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee will take place.
To determine the four best third-place group finishers, the same rules provided above apply. However, there will be no head-to-head results considered between the teams as they will have played in different groups. Thus a drawing of lots will take place should two or more teams end level on all stated criteria in points one through three.
Who will play who in the Round of 16?
The match schedule for the Round of 16 has been determined well before the tournament. All teams finishing in first or second place during the group stage, know immediately, the venue in which they will play their next match. However, all other teams must wait until all group games have been finished to learn the four best third-place finishers. Those teams' Round of 16 games will then be determined by the table indicated in the Regulations under 26.2.
What happens with yellow cards?
If a player has received two yellow cards in two matches, he will subsequently be suspended for the following match of the competition. Single yellow cards will be wiped out after the quarter-finals, but in the case a player receive a second caution in the quarter-finals, he will be suspended in the semi-finals.