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How Copa America group stage ties will be broken for knockout stage advancement

Here’s how CONMEBOL plans to break ties during the group stage.

Neymar Jr of Brazil competes for the ball with Wilmar Barrios and Luis Diaz of Colombia during the match between Brazil and Colombia as part of Conmebol Copa America Brazil 2021 at Estadio Olímpico Nilton Santos on June 23, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Neymar Jr of Brazil competes for the ball with Wilmar Barrios and Luis Diaz of Colombia during the match between Brazil and Colombia as part of Conmebol Copa America Brazil 2021 at Estadio Olímpico Nilton Santos on June 23, 2021 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

Copa America 2021 is in full swing with Brazil already qualifying for the knockout round. The competition is held by CONMEBOL’s 10 members in South America. The 10 teams are divided into two groups, with the top four from each group advancing to the knockout bracket.

Here’s how CONMEBOL will break any ties in the initial stage to determine which teams advance to the next round. Because there are four teams advancing to the knockout round from each group, there could be ties between more than two teams.

The first tiebreaker is goal differential in the group stage and the next tiebreaker is goals scored. If these two are equal, the head-to-head results of the teams in question is used to break the tie.

If the head-to-head results cannot break the tie, CONMEBOL goes to goal differential and goals scored in the matches between the teams in question. If there is no decision after these steps, fair play points from all group matches are used. A yellow card is -1 points, an indirect red card (two yellows) is -3 points, a direct red card is -4 points and a yellow card followed by a direct red card is -5 points.

There is the remote possibility teams remain tied after all these calculations, in which case CONMEBOL draws lots to determine who advances.