What now for England and Wales – who will they line up against in Euro 2016 second round?
- Credit: PA
A dominant but ultimately toothless England team drew 0-0 with Slovakia last night in Euro 2016’s Group B, confining them to second place after Wales ran rampant and demolished Russia 3-0 to claim top spot.
Both British sides are out of the group, in a positive sense, though and will now look forward (or otherwise) to the tournament’s knock-out stage.
So who gets to play who for the chance to step forward into the quarter finals?
It is actually relatively simple for Roy Hodgson’s men – by finishing as runners-up in Group B they avoid the new best third-placed team lottery, which could have seen them face a group winner, and instead will play the Group F runner-up on June 27 in Nice next Monday.
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Who that will be is less certain – with a game still to play in that group Hungary are top with four points, followed by Iceland and Portugal with two each, with Austria bottom on one point.
The final games are Hungary v Portugal and Iceland v Austria on Wednesday.
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Theoretically any one of those four sides could finish third, though Austria are likely to finish last.
The worry for England fans is a combination which would see Portugal finish second and set up a meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo who would surely find it in himself to finally get his shooting boots on and revel at putting England to the sword.
English support for Hungary and Iceland tonight will, therefore, probably reach an all-time peak.
Welsh joy at securing top spot was probably soon overtaken by huge confusion as fans tried to work out who they could possibly face in the round of 16 on June 25.
By virtue of their lofty Group B position Chris Coleman’s team will definitely play a third-placed team.
However it could be the side from one of Group A, C or D, depending on who makes it into UEFA’s rather complex draw.
Four of the six third-placed teams get into the second round, based on their performance in the group stage.
Once all games are completed the third-placed teams get put into a virtual league by the organisers and the top four ranked sides move forwards with the other two going home with the group losers.
At the moment only one of the above groups has a definite third-placed side – Albania in Group A, which concluded on Sunday.
In Group C, featuring Germany, Poland, Northern Ireland and Ukraine and who all play tonight, only the latter cannot finish in third place because they have already been eliminated.
Though Ukraine could finish with the same number of points as Northern Ireland, because Northern Ireland won their clash earlier in the group stage they are guaranteed to finish above the Ukrainians.
In Group D, Spain have already qualified in first or second thanks to already having an unassailable six points.
However the remaining teams – Croatia, the Czech Republic and Turkey, all have a chance of finishing third.