First the bad news, Norway won group 4 as per the UEFA website :
“Norway and Spain have become the first sides to qualify for July’s finals after wrapping up their groups with a game to spare. It is all to play for elsewhere, though …”
The good news is the best runner-up from the 6 groups also qualifies for the finals in Israel. Elite round in the elite round, played in April, those 24 teams go into six mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and the runners-up with the best record against the sides first and third in their pool join the hosts at the finals.
At the moment the group 4 table looks like this 1. Norway (Q) 6 pts 2. England 3 pts 3. Switzerland 3 pts 4. Northern Ireland 0 pt
Northern Ireland are guaranteed to finish bottom of the table regardless of their result against Norway :
13.01 If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of a mini-tournament,
the following criteria are applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings:
- higher number of points obtained in the mini-tournament matches played among the teams in question. They would at best finish with 3 points but have lost against England and Switzerland already.
This means for the best runner-up ranking only games against Norway and Switzerland will count. With the results so far being England 1 Norway 2 (pending appeal of course of the result but that’s another problem for UEFA). England have nil point at the moment and will need a big win against Switzerland by at least 4 or 5 to have a chance. For example, with a 4-0 win England would finish with 6 points overall but with 3 points for the best runner up table and a 5-2 goal difference +3
Regarding the runner-up table, the most obvious threat for England comes from groups 3 and 6 where the top two teams have both 6 points. It means they have already beaten the 3rd team in their group table and will have a minimum of 3 pts before the final game France – Russia and Netherland – Danemark. If any of those 2 games finish with a draw England won’t be the best runner up. The teams will finish with 7 points overall and 4 points in the runner-up table ie better than England maximum 3 points.
Basically England would need a big win against Switzerland and lot of luck to see all the other group runner-up finish with only 3 points. To be fair, the girls definitely deserve some luck after being robbed by the referee in the Norway game.