AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers: Myanmar vs Kyrgyzstan draw opens window of opportunity for India
What's the story?
The best thing about probability is that it is a probability, a chance, and not a 100% reality. Until the event has happened, we can only speculate. In a similar speculation, there was a 1/3rd chance for the result of Myanmar vs Kyrgyzstan to be favourable for India. But, as it turns out, the reality does not reflect the probability. In fact, it has gone against the low probability.
In case you didn't know...
India had postponed their home match with Macau by a day. This could have given them the advantage of knowing the group dynamics before facing Macau in the qualifiers. But, as fate would have it, the earlier match between Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan on 5th September too was postponed in Kyrgyzstan, citing security concerns. This chain of events completed a cycle and made Group A a level field again.
The heart of the matter
Out of the three possible results of the match, only a draw would have given India the added advantage. An advantage of a point. And to everyone's joy, the Myanmar vs Kyrgyzstan match ended 2-2. This is a great result for Indian football, as the draw means that India need to win only one match from the remaining three, with the minnows Macau first up front in Bengaluru on 11th October. Had the result been otherwise, i.e towards any team, India had to wait till 14th November at least to secure qualification, needing a win and a draw from the remaining three matches.
The match in Myanmar was almost heading towards Kyrgyzstan, but a late goal by Ko Ko Kyaw in the 2nd minute of the injury time salvaged a point for the home team. More importantly, it has presented a golden opportunity for India to qualify for what would be its fourth appearance in this major continental tournament.
With India playing 182nd ranked Macau, we can expect them to go into the match with all guns blazing. They have already beaten Macau 2-0 away. So psychologically, India will be better positioned. A win tomorrow will be enough for the Blue Tigers. Moreover, an early qualification will give India almost two years for the preparation of the 2019 Asian Cup.
With the Sree Kanteerava stadium backing them, India should win against Macau. But in football, no opponent should be taken lightly. India should avoid being complacent at the last juncture. If everything goes well, it would be an early Diwali for the Indian football.