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Euro 2024 permutations: England learn next opponents, on course for Italy quarter

Euro 2024 permutations: Who needs what to reach last 16?
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With the Euro 2024 group stage now over, Sports Mole looks at how every team progressed into the last 16, and what it means for the possible quarter-final lineups.

The lineup for the last 16 at Euro 2024 is now complete, with late drama and shocks galore in the group stages resulting in a much different map of the tournament than most predicted.

Few of the favourites wholly convinced despite making it through to the next round, with Spain the only nation to progress having won all three of their group games.

The likes of Germany, England and Portugal also topped their groups, but England's performances were widely criticised while Portugal were beaten by tournament debutants and surprise last 16 participants Georgia on matchday three.

There were major upsets in Groups D and E too, as Austria beat France and Netherlands to first place in the former and Romania pipped Belgium in the latter; Group E was the tightest in Euros history, with all four teams ending level on four points.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how each team qualified for the last 16.

What has already been decided?


Euro 2024 Group A final

Qualified: Germany, Switzerland
Eliminated: Hungary, Scotland

Scotland realistically needed to beat Hungary on the final matchday of Group A to stand a chance of reaching the knockout rounds of a major tournament for the first time in their history, but they fell short in Stuttgart and ultimately finished bottom of the pile.

Hungary's heart-breaking 100th-minute winner rubber-stamped Scotland's early exit from the competition, making it 12 major tournaments and 12 group-stage exits for the Tartan Army.

On the flip side, the goal did throw Hungary's name back into the hat for one of the best third-place spots, but their poor goal difference of minus three came back to bite them as they missed out on a place in the last 16.

Germany had already secured their place in the last 16 before the final matchday, but they needed a 92nd-minute equaliser to cling on to top spot, denying Switzerland in the process.

The 1-1 draw was enough to see Switzerland join the hosts in the knockout rounds, though, as they finished in second place on five points.


Euro 2024 Group B final

Qualified: Spain, Italy
Eliminated: Croatia, Albania

Spain were already through as group winners heading into the final matchday on Monday, and a much-changed side held off a late Albania rally to secure a 1-0 victory that sends them into the knockout rounds with a 100% record without conceding a goal throughout the groups.

There was far more drama behind them, though, with Italy scoring a incredible equaliser in the last minute of stoppage time to ensure that they nicked second place ahead of Croatia, who had been due to progress until that gut-wrenching strike.

Instead, Luka Modric and co were forced to wait to learn their ultimate fate, which was decided by results on Tuesday as they crashed out as one of the worst third-placed sides.

Albania, meanwhile, finished bottom of the pile as expected, although they more than held their own in the 'Group of Death', with both of their defeats coming by just a solitary goal.


Euro 2024 Group C (25/06)

Qualified: England, Denmark, Slovenia
Eliminated: Serbia

England were already assured of their place in the last 16 before their final group game against Slovenia, and even another uninspired performance en route to a 0-0 draw was enough to secure top spot too.

That is because Denmark and Serbia also played out a goalless stalemate in the night's other game, sending Denmark through in second and Slovenia through as one of the best third-placed teams.

Denmark and Slovenia finished level on head to head, goal difference and goals scored, meaning that the group placings were determined by disciplinary points; Denmark were one point better than Slovenia in that regard.

The result of Europe may not be too worried looking at those to qualify from Group C, though; only fourth-placed Serbia have scored fewer goals than England, Denmark and Slovenia in the entire tournament.


Euro 2024 Group D (25/06)

Qualified: Austria, France, Netherlands
Already eliminated: Poland

Group D was the place to be for drama and excitement on Tuesday, with Austria stealing the show to pip both France and Netherlands to a surprise top spot in a challenging group.

France and Netherlands were both already through heading into the final matchday, but Ralf Rangnick's dark horses ensured that they would have to progress into the knockout rounds as runners-up and third place respectively.

Austria took the lead three times in their match against Netherlands, the last of which stuck, while already-eliminated Poland picked up their only point of Euro 2024 courtesy of Robert Lewandowski's retaken penalty against France, earning a 1-1 draw.

The final order of Group D prompts a massive shake-up of many people's expected course for the tournament, including a last 16 showdown between France and Belgium.


Euro 2024 Group E (26/06)

Qualified: Romania, Belgium, Slovakia
Already eliminated: Ukraine

For the first time in Euros history, all four teams finished level on points in Group E, making it officially the tightest group in the competition's history.

The big losers from that scenario were Ukraine, whose goal difference left them bottom of the pile despite finishing level on points with the group winners, as they became the first team in Euros history to be eliminated despite gaining four points.

Draws in both matches on the final day saw Romania hang on to top spot above Belgium, who were forced to settle for a runners-up finish that sets up a last 16 showdown with France.

Slovakia, meanwhile, went through as one of the best third-placed teams, with results later in the day meaning that they will face England in the next round.


Euro 2024 Group F (26/06)

Qualified: Portugal, Turkey, Georgia
Eliminated: Czech Republic

Portugal were already assured of first place in Group F with a game to spare, which was just as well given a much-changed team suffered a shock defeat to Georgia.

The tournament debutants enjoyed arguably the greatest night in their football history by beating Cristiano Ronaldo and co 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen, securing their place in the last 16 in the process.

However, they only made it through as one of the best third-placed teams courtesy of Turkey's dramatic late winner against Czech Republic, with Cenk Tosun firing Vincenzo Montella's side back up into second place.

Czech Republic needed a win in order to progress, but they were hampered by a red card - one of a record 21 cards shown on the night - en route to defeat.

Who are the best-ranked third-placed teams at Euro 2024?

Groups C, D, E and F provided the best third-placed teams at Euro 2024, with some surprise names making it through via that route - for better or worse.

Netherlands were heavily tipped to finish in the top two, but their defeat to Austria on the final matchday relegated them down to third in Group D, although they did finish as the top-ranked third-place side by virtue of a better disciplinary record over Georgia.

The tournament debutants enjoyed probably their greatest ever night in beating Portugal to seal their progress into the last 16, while their victory also changed the complexion of the last 16 - notably England's opponents.

The Three Lions will now face Slovakia instead of Netherlands, while the final third-placed spot went to the team Gareth Southgate's side drew 0-0 with in their last group game, Slovenia.

Hungary's 100th-minute winner against Scotland kept their hopes alive until the final day of the groups, but they ultimately went out due to their poor goal difference, while Croatia's fate was sealed one day after they ended their campaign.

1. Netherlands (4pts | 0 GD) - Qualified
2. Georgia (4pts | 0 GD) - Qualified
3. Slovakia (3pts | 0 GD) - Qualified
4. Slovenia (3pts | 0 GD) - Qualified
5. Hungary (3pts | -3 GD) - Eliminated
6. Croatia (2pts | -3 GD) - Eliminated

Click here to see all of the Euro 2024 last 16 and possible quarter-final ties.

Euro 2024 last 16 lineup

England's Harry Kane pictured in June 2024© Reuters

June 29: Switzerland vs. Italy (5pm BST | Olympiastadion, Berlin)

June 29: Germany vs. Denmark (8pm BST | Westfalenstadion, Dortmund)

June 30: England vs. Slovakia (5pm BST | Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen)

June 30: Spain vs. Georgia (8pm BST | RheinEnergieStadion, Cologne)

July 1: France vs. Belgium (5pm BST | Merkur Spiel-Arena, Dusseldorf)

July 1: Portugal vs. Slovenia (8pm BST | Deutsche Bank Park, Frankfurt)

July 2: Romania vs. Netherlands (5pm BST | Allianz Arena, Munich)

July 2: Austria vs. Turkey (8pm BST | Red Bull Arena, Leipzig)

Euro 2024 possible quarter-final lineup

Italy's Destiny Udogie in action with England's Phil Foden on October 17, 2023© Reuters

July 5: Spain or Georgia vs. Germany or Denmark (5pm BST | MHPArena, Stuttgart)

July 5: Portugal or Slovenia vs. France or Belgium (8pm BST | Volksparkstadion, Hamburg)

July 6: England or Slovakia vs. Switzerland or Italy (5pm BST | Merkur Spiel-Arena, Dusseldorf)

July 6: Romania or Netherlands vs. Austria or Turkey (5pm BST | Olympiastadion, Berlin)

What are the Euro 2024 tie-breakers?

The number of points gained are, of course, the first port of call when it comes to deciding positions in the group tables, but beyond that things get a little more complicated with relatively few matches taking place.

If points are level, it then goes to head-to-head results between any teams involved, and then head-to-head goal difference and head-to-head goals scored.

In the case of draws between two teams, all of those tie-breakers are often level, so it then goes down to overall goal difference, and overall goals scored after that.

If two or more teams are still tied after all of that, the next deciding factor is their disciplinary total. This is calculated using a points system, where a red card is worth three points, a yellow is worth one, and two yellows in a game is worth three. The team with the lowest disciplinary points tally would progress.

In the unlikely event that things are still evenly tied, the ultimate deciding factor would then be their ranking in qualifiers for Euro 2024.

1. Points
2. Head-to-head results between team or teams
3. Head-to-head goal difference
4. Head-to-head goals scored
5. Overall goal difference
6. Overall goals scored
7. Lowest disciplinary points total
8. Ranking in qualifiers

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Germany head coach Julian Nagelsmann pictured on June 3, 2024
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Euro 2024 confirmed group standings: Who has reached the last 16?
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