Portugal, Spain could have World Cup group places decided by drawing of lots

Portugal and Spain's fate in the World Cup could go down to the luck of the draw if they finish with identical records in Group B.

Spain currently sit on top of the group by virtue of receiving one fewer yellow card than their neighbours after two matches. Both nations have scored four goals and conceded three, while they drew 3-3 with each other in their opening game.

If Spain beat Morocco and Portugal defeat Iran by the same scoreline on Monday, then they will still have identical records at the top of the group. And if Spain pick up one more yellow card than Portugal then they would also be level on Fair Play record. The last remaining group tiebreaker is drawing of lots -- or, in other words, a name out of a hat -- and that would be needed to determine first and second.

If both teams lose their final matches by the same scoreline, then the same situation arises but for second and third place in the group with Iran through in first place. Then it could be Fair Play, or the drawing of lots, to decide who goes through and who goes home between Portugal and Spain.

Spain have only one yellow card from their first two matches compared to Portugal's two. A yellow card counts as minus one point, while a red for two yellows is minus three. A straight red card costs minus four points.

Argentina & Iceland and Brazil & Switzerland could also have to draw lots depending on results, as set out in group scenarios.

At the 1990 World Cup, Netherlands and Republic of Ireland were tied for second place in their group with identical records so a draw was made to decide who would progress in second and who would go through as a top third-place qualifier.

The Irish were drawn in second place and the Dutch were given a third place ranking.