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Asian Cup 2019: India's qualification scenario - How can Blue Tigers make Round of 16?

3.68K   //    11 Jan 2019, 13:24 IST

India, led by Sunil Chhetri (right), will face Bahrain on January 14
India, led by Sunil Chhetri (right), will face Bahrain on January 14

As the on-going AFC Asian Cup 2019 approaches the round-of-16 stage, the competition in the respective groups is heating up as all the teams are looking to enter the knockout phase of the tournament.

Having won their first match, India - in group A with UAE, Thailand, and Bahrain - are still one of the firm favourites to make it to the next round of the tournament. After four matches, the group has opened up wide with a chance for all four teams to make it to the next round.

After a defeat in their first match, Thailand have given themselves a lifeline with a 1-0 win against Bahrain. UAE who drew against Bahrain, denied India a chance to secure qualification with their 2-0 win on January 10.

The current scenario has UAE topping the table with 4 points. They require just a draw against Thailand with all the other three teams looking for a win in their last group stage match.

This is how the Group A looks
This is how the Group A looks

It's not just the top two who will make the Round of 16. Even four of the best third-placed teams have a chance to make the knockouts.

So what does India need to do against Bahrain to qualify for the Round of 16? Here are the scenarios.

Scenario 1: India win against Bahrain

Stephen Constantine, India coach
Stephen Constantine, India coach

India will manage to sail through to the next round if they secure 3 points against Bahrain, taking them to 6 points with an assurance of a top 2 finish from the group. Now the scenario will be left to Thailand and UAE’s match to see if India top the group or not.


- If Thailand wins and UAE Loses

If Thailand (currently on 3 points) win against UAE(currently on 4 points), both Thailand and India will be tied at 6 points and it will be left to the head-to-head result which is the first tiebreaker between two teams on level points. Since India beat Thailand 4-1, India will go to the next round as the table topper.

- If Thailand and UAE draw

In case of a draw between UAE and Thailand, Thailand will be stranded on 4 points, giving UAE the ticket to the next round, who will be second in the group with 5 points. It will also suit India better as they will be the automatic table toppers from the group. Thailand will have to wait for the results from all the groups to see if they qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.

- If Thailand loses and UAE wins

UAE will be the table toppers with 7 points if they manage to go past Thailand in the final league game and India fair second from the group.

India will be hoping for a top of the table finish in order to get an easier opponent in the next round.

Next slide: What happens if India draw or lose to Bahrain?

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