Euro 2024: How Group E was decided after every team finished on same points

The Euro 2024 Group Stage matches concluded after exciting action across three match days since June 14.

Despite some underwhelming performances, all the major teams advanced to the knockout round, avoiding significant upsets. However, a few underdogs exceeded expectations, toppling tournament favorites to lead their groups.

In Group D, Ralf Rangnick’s Austria secured six points, finishing ahead of both France and the Netherlands. Similarly, in Group E, Romania surprisingly topped the group, which included Belgium. Notably, every team in Group E finished with four points, necessitating a closer look at the final positions.

Sports Brief explores the criteria that determined the final standings in this tightly contested group.

Euro 2024: How Group E was decided

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Why Ukraine was eliminated despite having more points than other teams

Ukraine entered their final match against Belgium knowing they needed a victory to improve their standing. After conceding three goals to Romania in their opening game, Serhiy Rebrov’s team was in a challenging position where only a win or a defeat of Romania could have benefited them.

The match against Belgium ended in a goalless draw, leaving Ukraine with the lowest goal difference in the group (-2), placing them fourth. In the knockout stage, only the best third-placed teams advance, while the last-placed teams are eliminated.

As a result, Slovenia, who finished third in Group C with three points, qualified for the Round of 16 instead of Ukraine. The Blue and Yellow became the first team to be eliminated despite accumulating four points.

Every team in Group E finished level on points

Now, coming back to the top three, here is how the final standings were decided:

1 . Romania – 4 points, 1 goal difference

According to UEFA tie-breakers, teams level on points are separated by goal difference. In this instance, Romania and Belgium both had a goal difference of 1. Therefore, the next criterion, goals scored, was applied.

Romania, having scored four goals, surpassed Belgium, who scored two goals. As a result, Romania ranked first in the group, while Belgium, led by Kevin De Bruyne, secured second place.

2 . Belgium – 4 points, 1 goal difference

3 . Slovakia – 4 points, 0 goal difference

Belgium secured second place over Slovakia due to a superior goal difference. Belgium scored two goals and conceded one, while Slovakia scored three goals but also conceded three.

As a result, Belgium earned a matchup with France in the Round of 16, reminiscent of their 2018 World Cup semi-final clash. Romania, having topped their group, will face the Netherlands, who were one of the best third-placed teams. Meanwhile, Slovakia will take on England in their knockout stage encounter.

Euro 2024 Round of 16 fixtures
Spain vs Georgia

Germany vs Denmark

Portugal vs Slovenia

France vs Belgium

Romania vs Netherlands

Austria vs Türkiye

England vs Slovakia

Switzerland vs Italy.

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