The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup is finally underway. The tournament is being hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand and carries the largest prize purse in the history of women's soccer. Group play has kicked off, so we decided it was a good idea to take a look at the tiebreakers for the group stage and exactly what the procedures are for determining who moves on to the knockout stages.
The field for this edition of the World Cup has been expanded to 32 from the 24 entrants of the past two tournaments. With eight four-team groups, that means the top two teams in each group will be headed to the Round of 16 in the knockout stages. So half the teams will be left out of the playoff portion of the event.
Teams receive three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss in the group stage. The teams with the most points after the three group stage matches will advance. However, if there is a tie, here are the following steps for determining who advances.
Tiebreaker 1: Goal differential
The team with the highest goal differential will move on.
Tiebreaker 2: Total goals scored
The team with the most goals scored during the group stage would advance.
If a tie still isn't broken, the next tiebreakers would be employed, in order.
The team with the most points from matches played head-to-head among the tied teams wins.
Head-to-head goal differential
The team with the largest goal differential from head-to-head matchups would advance.
Head-to-head goals scored
The team with the most goals scored in head-to-head matchups among those teams advances.
Fair play points
If teams are still tied, Fair Play points would determine a winner. These are accrued by the number of yellow and red cards teams receive during all group stage matches. A yellow card is worth -1 points, an indirect red card (two yellow cards in a match) is worth -3 points, a direct red card is -4 points and a yellow card and a direct red card is worth -5 points.
If teams are still tied after all of that, FIFA will hold a random draw and the winner of that draw would advance.
Got all of that? Good. You never know when it may come in handy.