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The incredible reason why Denmark finished second ahead of Slovenia in Group C despite exact same record

The incredible reason why Denmark finished second ahead of Slovenia in Group C despite exact same record

Denmark scraped into the final automatic qualification spot.

Denmark scraped into an automatic qualification spot at Euro 2024 with their 0-0 draw against Serbia - and the maths behind exactly why is remarkable.

The Danes drew 0-0 with Serbia, which was enough to keep them ahead of third-placed Slovenia, who drew 0-0 with England in Cologne.

While neither game particularly piqued the attention of fans in terms of overall quality, there was plenty at stake in terms of qualification for the last 16.

England's draw means they end up on five points and qualify as group winners, with Denmark in second and Slovenia in third.

Denmark and Slovenia could not be separated in terms of points, with both recording three points across their three matches.

Their three draws meant they both had the same goal difference, and the same amount of goals conceded (two) - the primary metrics UEFA use as tie-breakers.

UEFA then use yellow cards - but both teams recorded the same amount of bookings over their three games.

As per journalist Will Jeanes yesterday evening, Denmark finished second only by virtue of their higher position in the European Championship qualifier rankings.

Twitter/Will Jeanes

Astonishingly, Denmark and Slovenia were actually drawn in the same qualifying group - and both finished on 22 points.

To make matters even more incredible, their goal records were also remarkably similar. Denmark scored 19 goals to Slovenia's 20, with the latter conceding nine goals to Denmark's 10.

But while Slovenia had the better goal difference, the tie-breaker for qualification related to head-to-head performances between the two teams.

And Denmark picked up four points from the two fixtures - winning one game by a 2-1 scoreline - with Slovenia picking up the one point.


The 2-1 win came back in November 2023, with Thomas Delaney the player to score what proved to be the ultimate winning goal on 54 minutes. The 32-year-old has only played 16 minutes of football at Euro 2024.

UEFA have since confirmed that the group was in fact settled on yellow cards - but not based on bookings given to players.

Instead, a yellow card shown to Slovenia assistant coach Novakovic Milivoje created the only difference between the two sides.

Featured Image Credit: Getty / England

Topics: Denmark, Euro 2024, England, Football