SAFF Championship semi-final qualification scenario: Group A

As we head into the last gameweek, Group A is still wide open, with all four teams retaining a chance of making it through to the semi-finals...
With four points each, Nepal and India are in pole position to make it to the last four, with Nepal presently ahead of the Blue Tigers, thanks to a better goal difference. Pakistan and Bangladesh meanwhile, are on a point each, but still retain hopes of going further in the competition.

However with the Blue Tigers facing off against the Gorkhalis on Thursday and the Green Shirts up against the Bengal Tigers, the league table could well end up seeing a lot of upheaval, by the end of the matches.

Group A MatchesGoals
1 Nepal 4 2 1 1 0 3 1
2 India 4 2 1 1 0 2 1
3 Pakistan 1 2 0 1 1 1 2
4 Bangladesh 1 2 0 1 1 1 3

Here are all the scenarios that may decide how the final league table looks like.

Scenario 1:  Nepal and India draw

The most straightforward of results, if India and Nepal play out a draw, then no matter what happens in the other game, these two sides will go through, with Nepal winning the group on goal difference.

Scenario 2: 
India wins against Nepal


However if the Blue Tigers win against the Gorkhalis, they shall go forward as group winners.

Nepal then would have to rely on the result in the other game. If Bangladesh wins, then Jack Stefanowski’s side will make it through on a better head-to-head record.

A win for Pakistan though, would make things interesting, as it would then come down to goal difference. If Pakistan win by three clear goals and Nepal loses even by a single goal, the hosts would be out of the tournament.

Scenario 3:
  Nepal beats India

This is a real possibility, considering India’s patchy form so far. If Nepal wins, they go through as group winners. India then would be the ones whose chances of making into the final four will be in jeopardy.

However if Pakistan win against Bangladesh, then India would be through as runner-ups, as they have a better head-to-head record, after beating the Shahins 1-0 in the first game.

If Bangladesh win however, then India might have an issue with regards to qualifying for the semis. A three goal win would take the Bengal Tigers above India on goal difference, while if India lose without scoring, even a two goal win would take L. de Kruif’s side to the semi-finals, based on better goal scored tally.


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