Our Lovely World

Reflections, Blessings & Gratitude

FIFA World Cup Scoring, Penalties & Yellow and Red Cards

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It’s on again – the World Cup Soccer is now showing in Russia!  On Saturday (Russia time) the Round of 16 will start.  If you’re interested in how teams win and go through to the next stage, and / or would like a Word document to fill in all the RESULTS on your computer or to print, please go to this Post  HERE  on my blog “Book Reviewers International.”

More about penalties and working out who gets to the Round of 16 which of course means 16 teams playing 8 matches, before the 4 Quarter Finals, the 2 Semi-Finals, the 3rd place play-off and the Grand Final, follows.

You may know about Yellow Cards and Red Cards already but if you don’t, I’ll explain here.  If a FOUL such as an unsportsmanlike like move where another player is intentionally and illegally impeded (see here ) is used upon a competitor, then the Referee may issue a YELLOW CARD to the fouler.   He shows the card and writes who it is allocated to in his note-book.  A yellow card aims to caution a player or act as a warning that certain behaviour is not tolerated.

If a really serious  FOUL  is committed, liking “showing studs” meaning something like a high kick and having the studs on the underside of one’s shoes making contact with another player, then the offending player is immediately sent off or dismissed with a notorious  RED CARD !  His team are NOT allowed to replace him, so alas the team is then “down a player” or has 1 less player, which is not great.  The player is also banned from the next game.

Now what’s more 2 YELLOW CARDS = 1 RED CARD in the same game, so if a player is first issued a YELLOW CARD in one game, then given a second YELLOW CARD IN A SEPARATE GAME he is suspended from playing in the next game.  If a player is issued a Yellow Card in one game, then a second yellow card in that same game, the Referee converts these 2 Yellow Card offences in the one game, to a Red Card offence.  The player will then be immediately sent off (not just suspended from the next game).

Yellow cards are accumulated to a maximum of 2 up until the end of the Quarter Finals (QF).  At the Semi-Finals the issuing of Yellow and Red cards starts afresh.

If a player at the FIFA World Cup is given a RED CARD the player is not only immediately dismissed or removed from the game in which he incurred the Red Card, but is also banned from participating in the next Match ( a one game ban or suspension ), so it is very serious to incur a red card or two yellow cards in one match.  Click on the link below to view / download the FIFA Code on Disciplinary matters.


The 2004 FIFA Law 12  –  “Rules on Fouls and Misconduct” shows pictures of examples of misconduct including improper covering of one’s head with their jersey   here .

Now onto what happens if at the end of the Group stage, there are more than 2 teams with the same number of points, keeping in mind that a Win gives a team 3 points and a Draw gives them 1 point.  At the end of the Group Stage Round, the Winner and the Runner-up of each of the 8 Groups (A – H) are decided, if possible, based upon the team with the highest number of points and the team with the second highest number of points.  If 2 teams in a Group have the same number of points which are higher than the points won by any of the rest of the team, those 2 top teams go through to the Round of 16.

If more than 2 teams have equal number of higher points, or if one team has higher points than all the other teams in their group and 2 other teams have the same next highest number of points, then the Goal Difference (GD) and so forth are looked at, as explained below.

  1. Highest number of points – 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw.
  2. Goal difference  – Total number of goals scored by a team over their 3 Group Stage matches minus the total number of goals in those matches scored against them.
  3. Goals scored –  Total number of goals overall scored by a team over their 3 matches.
  4. Points obtained in group games between teams concerned  – looking just at the teams with equal points in a group  (so disregard the results of any team or teams who gained less points), determine if any team has a higher number of points.
  5. Goal difference from games involving teams concerned  – if after step 4 above, no team has a higher number of points, look at the overall Goal Difference (GD) for each team and the team with the lowest GD wins.
  6. Number of goals scored in games between teams concerned – look at the number of goals scored overall by each team, and hopefully by now 1 team scored more goals than the others overall.
  7. Fair play points  – alas if there’s no winner (or runner-up) by now, “Fair Play Points” are applied –  For fair play, the team from all Matches played, with the greatest number of fair play points is ranked higher. Only one of the following deductions are applied to a single player in a game: a yellow card brings about a deduction of -1, an indirect red (second yellow) costs -3, a direct red costs -4 and a yellow card plus a direct red card is a deduction of -5.
  8. Drawing of lots by FIFA  – amazingly if none of the above can decide a Winner or a Runner-up, the good old tradition of “putting names in a hat and randomly drawing a name” (in principle) will be used !!



“Goal” – World Cup scoring

The “Round of 16” is a knock-out round, which means the Winner of Group A plays the Runner-up of Group B ( winner A v runner-up B and winner B v runner-up A ) and so on for C / D and E / F and G / H and the winner of each of these 8 matches knocks out the other team.

Now as you probably know there are two “halves” or parts of 45 minutes each of play, with a break in between.  The post  HERE  makes it easy to visually see how the matches occur with the Round of 16 and later – scroll down the page linked above until you see the image of the SBS Guide.

If there is no winner based on highest number of goals won, at the end of 90 minutes in the Round of 16 and onward, then Extra Time is played which is 30 minutes divided into two lots of 15 minutes.   The net that a team must get their ball in to score a goal is switched after the 1st 15 minutes so each team gets to aim toward each end.

Now if the teams are still equal at the end of “Extra Time” the famous or infamous Penalty shoot-out comes into play.  In a FIFA World Cup penalty shoot-out, each team takes turns attempting 5 shots on the goal from the penalty mark, that are defended only by the opposing team’s goalkeeper, with the team that makes more successful kicks being declared the winner of the match.   The teams take turns “shooting for the goal”.

What happens if after 5 shots no team has got more goals than the other, you may ask?  Well, they keep on playing in rounds of 5 !!   See this interesting article  HERE  for more information on penalty shoot-outs.


In the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament if a player has been given a  YELLOW CARD and the player makes it to the Semi-Finals, that yellow card “penalty” is wiped out.

In the Semi-finals, a player should take care not to get a Red Card (which would mean he will immediately be sent off AND will miss the Final if his team gets to it).  A player should also take care not to get two yellow cards in the Semi-Finals because two yellow cards in a single game are converted to a red card.

See the article below for information.


Last but not least below is a Link to another Post on this blog showing me in 2014 at the time of the World Cup in Brazil.   I’m at an exhibition in Perth and review the SBS Guide for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.   On my other Blog,  Book Reviewers International,  I review the 2018 SBS Guide to the Russia FIFA World Cup and review the Panini Adrenalyn XL Trading Cards and Sticker Album.



Author: Star Wise

Bookaholic and Peace-aholic, and Animal lover, I try to spread peace and fairness for all, and appreciation of, and proper use of the wonderful world we live in. Mitakuye Oyasin - we are all related.

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