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Head to head against goal difference in African football – Goalpedia


When teams in different chaff competitions are tied with points, what happens then to get a winner out of such a scenario?

If participating teams end up in a league or qualifying group, they must be separated in any competition to find a winner.

There are two ways to handle the situation, one is to use the head-to-head record, or sometimes it can be done by applying the goal difference.

For example, in the Uefa Champions League, when teams are tied for points in the qualifying group, the head-to-head record is used, which means if team A beats team B at home and then pulls away, Team A will be above Team B ends in the table.

So how do competitions in Africa apply the head-to-head or goal difference rule when teams are equal in points?

How do the Africa Cup of Nations rank?

The Africa Cup of Nations trophy

In the Africa Cup of Nations the following tiebreakers are applied according to (Article 14 of Regulations):

1. Points in head-to-head matches under draws

2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches under a draw

Goals in head-to-head matches under a tie

4. Goals scored in head-to-head matches under draws

5. If more than two teams are tied, and after all of the above criteria have been applied, a subset of teams is still tied, all of the above head-to-head criteria have been applied exclusively to this subset of teams.

6. Goal difference in all group matches

7. Goal kicks in all group matches

8. Goals scored in all group matches

9. Lottery

What about African Championships?

In the group stage of the African Nations Championships, teams are divided according to points (3 points for a victory, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if the points are tied, the following equal criteria are applied: order given to determine the rankings (section 74 of regulations):

Emmanuel Okwi of Uganda challenged by Nkosinathi Sibisi of South Africa

1. Points in head-to-head matches under draws

2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches under a draw

Goals in head-to-head matches under a tie

4. If more than two teams are tied, and after all of the above criteria apply, a subset of teams is still tied, all of the above head-to-head criteria are applied exclusively to this subset of teams.

5. Goal difference in all group matches

Goals in all group matches

7. Lottery

How does this apply in the Caf Champions League?

The decisive break-eveners in the Champions League are in order as follows (Regulations III. 20 & 21):

Lebogang Manyama celebrates Kaizer Chiefs goal

1. Points in head-to-head matches under draws

2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches under a draw

Goals in head-to-head matches under a tie

4. Goals scored in head-to-head matches under draws

5. If more than two teams are tied, and after all the above criteria have been applied, a subset of teams is still tied, all the above head-to-head criteria are applied exclusively to this subset of teams.

6. Goal difference in all group matches

7. Goal kicks in all group matches

8. Goals scored in all group matches

9. Lottery

What about the Confederation Cup?

In the Confederation Cup, teams are also divided according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss).

If the points are equal, the following breakers are taken into account (Regulations III. 20 & 21):

Raja Casablanca

1. Points in head-to-head matches under draws

2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches under a draw

Goals in head-to-head matches under a tie

4. Goals scored in head-to-head matches under draws

5. If more than two teams are tied, and after all the above criteria have been applied, a subset of teams is still tied, all the above head-to-head criteria are applied exclusively to this subset of teams.

6. Goal difference in all group matches

7. Goal kicks in all group matches

8. Goals scored in all group matches

9. Lottery

Meanwhile, preliminary rounds of the Caf World Cup qualifiers have also applied the head-to-head rule and it goes into the late stages.



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