England U17 qualifying round situation

The England U17 team are currently in Lithuania, they are led by Lydia Bedford who is an excellent young coach and are trying to qualify for the elite round.

The results so far in Group 8 are

Slovenia 0 Russia 1

England 14 Lithuania 0

Russia 2 Lithuania 0

England 0 Slovenia 1


And the table looks like this :

1 Russia 6 pts + 3

2 Slovenia 3 pts 0

3 England 3 pts +13

4 Lithuania 0 pt -16

For those who wonder why England are not second in the group, this is due to the competition rules.

The top two in each group and the third-placed team with the best record against the leading pair in their section accompany top seeds Spain into the 24-team elite round draw on 11 November.

The remaining games are England v Russia and Slovenia v Lithuania.

England need to better Slovenia’s result on final day ie if Slovenia lose to Lithuania which is unlikely, England need a draw to finish runner-up in the group. Likewise if Slovenia draw with Lithuania England need a win. For those two cases, if England and Slovenia finish level on points Slovenia will finish above England in second.

Note that in the extremely unlikely case where Lithuania would beat Slovenia and England lose to Russia, Russia would win the group with 9 points and the other three teams would finish with 3 points each.

Here are the tournament regulations :

Article 14 Equality of points – qualifying competition
14.01 If two or more teams in the same group are equal on points on completion of a
mini-tournament, the following criteria are applied to the mini-tournament in
question, in the order given, to determine the rankings:
a. higher number of points obtained in the matches played among the teams in
b. superior goal difference from the matches played among the teams in
c. higher number of goals scored in the matches played among the teams in
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 i) apply;
e. superior goal difference in all matches;
f. higher number of goals scored in all matches;
g. lower disciplinary points total based only on yellow and red cards received in
the mini-tournament (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for
two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
h. higher position in the coefficient ranking list used for the qualifying round
i. drawing of lots.

Criteria a. is the reason why Slovenia are ahead of England and will finish ahead of England, if the teams are equal in points in a two teams race.

Now let’s have a look at the cases where England, Slovenia and Russia end up with 6 points each, or if England, Slovenia and Lithuania end up with 3 points each.


If the top three teams are tied on 6 points, criteria a. shows England, Slovenia and Russia with 3 points each as the Lithuania game does not count in that case.

Criteria b. applies, goal difference in the games among the 3 teams

Slovenia 0 Russia 1

England 0 Slovenia 1

England v Russia

*Should England beat Russia by 2 goals or more, England GD is +1  at least. Russia becomes -1 and Slovenia is 0  England and Slovenia go through.

**Should England beat Russia by 1 goal and score more than 1 goal ie 2-1, 3-2, 4-3 etc

England GD would be 0, Slovenia GD would be 0, Russia GD would be 0 all teams equal on criteria b.  We would then go to criteria c. Slovenia would have scored 1 goal, Russia would have a minimum of two goals (1 against Slovenia and 1 at least against England) , England would have scored at least two goals.  England and Russia go through.

***Should England beat Russia by 1 goal to nil, we have a perfectly equal situation

Slovenia 0 Russia 1

England 0 Slovenia 1

England 1  Russia 0

Criteria a. b. c. shows the three teams equal and we go to criteria e. the superior GD in all matches.

Russia’s GD would be 2,  3 goals for and against 1

England’s GD would be +14, 15 goals for and 1 goal against

Slovenia’s GD would be the result of their game v Lithuania ie a positive GD as they are currently 1-1

England would go through with Slovenia/Russia


If the three runner-up teams end up with 3 points

Criteria a. all teams have beaten each other and get 3 points

Criteria b

England 14 Lithuania 0

England 0 Slovenia 1

Lithuania v Slovenia (with a Lithuania win)

England finish runner-up unless Lithuania wins by 15 goals or more and go through.


Basically a win against Russia would send England through. A defeat to Russia, combined to a Lithuania win with less than 15 goals also sends England through.

Published by Sylvain

women's football fan since 1998

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