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Two goals in four minutes seals win for Blanc & Co

sports Updated: Jun 16, 2012 02:44 IST


Former champions France beat co-hosts Ukraine 2-0 in their Group D match here on Friday. Two goals within four minutes silenced the Donbass Arena even though Ukraine had their share of moments.

The game had originally been suspended for 57 minutes after referee Bjorn Kuipers stopped play five minutes after kick-off because of torrential rain. The first-half, after resumption, saw France’s Jeremy Menez have a goal ruled out for off-side. Menez, a winger with Paris Saint Germain, then had a shot blocked by Ukrainian goalkeeper Andrei Pyatov in 29th minute.

Pyatov did brilliantly as well to save a point-blank header from Philippe Mexes later in the half. And had it not been not been for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris fisting away captain Andrei Shevchenko’s rasping shot from the left, Ukraine could also have had a goal to their name.

Shevchenko continued to probe the France defence and in the early minutes of the second-half saw his goal bound shot curl away too much for his liking.

It was Menez, however, who was on target a few minutes later as he fired a grounder off Karim Benzema’s assist. Benzema was again at the centre of action, pushing forward the ball for Yohan Cabaye to score his first international goal. France now top the group while Ukraine is placed second.

How to break a deadlock?

Unlike the World Cup or the Champions League, goal difference won’t be used to break ties. Here’s a look at what will happen if teams are level after the group stage

The accepted choice
The common method to break ties in group and league play is through goal differential. The system is used in World Cup, Champions League and other domestic events.

How it will work here

If two teams are tied:
The first method for breaking deadlocks when two teams are tied on points is their head-to-head result.
n If three teams are tied:
When more than two teams are tied on points, the points won among those teams will determine which team(s) advance. If even that doesn't break the deadlock, then goal differential will be used. And if teams are still tied, goals scored will break that tie.

Obscure tie-breakers

If all of the above fail, UEFA has a few more tie-breakers up its sleeve. Check out these ‘innovative’ ways to pick the team in section 8.07 of the rule book.
First preference
Position in the UEFA national team ranking system
Second choice
Fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
... and then finally
Drawing of lots.

Shootout before the knockout
If two teams have the same points, the same goals scored and conceded and play their last group match against each other and are still equal at the end of that match, the position of the two teams in question is determined by penalty kicks. That’s provided no other teams in the group are level on points.