Soccer: Luck of the draw if teams tied at end of group stage

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The All Whites' future at the World Cup could be decided by a Fifa bureaucrat picking a name out of a hat.

The "drawing of lots", as Fifa calls it, is dependent on the next round of games after the All Whites' shock 1-1 draw with defending champions Italy.

New Zealand and Italy are second equal in group F with two points each, while Paraguay leads the group on four points and are almost assured to go through with all sides set to play one more match.

According to Fifa's World Cup rule book, if two teams are equal on points at the end of the group stage, and have scored the same amount of goals, then it comes down to goal difference between the two teams.

That would not separate New Zealand and Italy after their draw. If that were the case at the end of the round, Fifa would look at which team had scored the most goals at the group stage.

At this stage, Italy and New Zealand have scored the same amount of goals - two in two games.

Fifa's last ditch effort to separate the teams is "drawing of lots by the Fifa Organising Committee".

But the result could still be decided by football with each side in the group to play one more match.

The All Whites' next match is against Paraguay on Friday morning (2am NZT).

- NZ Herald

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