Considering how many draws we’ve seen in the World Cup group stage so far, I am probably not the only one who has wondered, exactly what rules do they apply for the placement of the group members if they end up having the same amount of points at the end of the group stage?
Luckily, the official 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa regulations come to the rescue. Article 39, no. 5, reads:
The ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows: a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches; b) goal difference in all group matches; c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches. If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows: d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned; e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned; f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned; g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.
In other words, if the points are the same, and both goal difference and scored goals are the same, they resort to how the two or more tied teams fared only in their games against each other. And if all else fails, the order will be drawn from a hat.