We’d have all taken this at the beginning, right? Three points from two games with Belgium left? After the 1-0 win against Denmark and the 0-1 defeat at Russia, Finland remain in contention to qualify for the round of 16 at Euro 2020. But…
With the larger competition and the four “best” third placed sides moving on, Rich dons his maths hat to try and make it simple and to see what Finland need from the game against Belgium, and depending on the Denmark v Russia match.
If Finland win:
They qualify with six points and win the group (level points with Belgium, superior head to head) unless Russia also win – thank you Jani K.
If Finland draw:
They will come second if Denmark win, third if Russia draw/win (Russia have better head to head).
If Finland lose:
This is where it’s complicated. Finland will have three points. If Russia get a positive result, Finland will be third in the group with three points and a negative goal difference. If Denmark win 1-0, Denmark cannot finish second, if Finland keep it to a 1-0 defeat or by two goals -they’ll finish third. If Denmark win by two goals, Finland will be third. If Denmark win by one goal (other than 1-0, Finland will be bottom). The third placed team will need to wait until Wednesday to know for sure if they have made the knockouts.
We could also have the scenario where, if the games end Denmark 1-0 Russia and Belgium 2-1 Finland, then the Finns and Danes will be separated by the number of cards received. If those are level too, Denmark would secure second place for having a better record in Euro 2020 qualifying (15th v 20th). Ouch.
This ESPN link explains other outcomes, along with the other groups… Get your calculators out. It’s still in Finland’s hands – four years after being 109th in the FIFA rankings, Finland have a decent chance of being in the last 16. Enjoy it no matter what.