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What Are The Tiebreakers For The World Cup Group Stage?

 There are seven tiebreakers used in World Cup group play. (Twitter/@YahooSports)

There are seven tiebreakers used in World Cup group play. (Twitter/@YahooSports)

Following the 2-2 draw with Portugal, the United States will be fighting for its World Cup life entering its upcoming game with Germany on Thursday, June 26. If the U.S. wins or draws, they will advance, but if not, tiebreakers will come into play.

There are seven tiebreakers in World Cup group play, listed here by the FIFA World Cup Regulations book from UEFA.com:

The ranking of each team in each group shall be determined as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all the group matches;

b) goal difference in the group matches;

c) greatest number of goals scored in the group matches.

The first three rules are the standard ones used to send teams through to the round of 16, though if there is still a tie, four more tiebreakers exist:

d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;

e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;

f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;

g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

That's right, the seventh tiebreaker in the World Cup is a drawing of lots. It is a serious longshot, but it is still a possible outcome in Group G, if things shook out in a very specific manner. It is not an unprecedented event either. In 1990, the second place of Group F was decided by a drawing of lots, sending Ireland through to the next round ahead of Netherlands after both teams were tied through six tiebreakers. Let's all hope that it doesn't come to a total game of luck, and that everything in this fantastic World Cup is decided on the field.