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The race to glory: A look at the factors that could decide the Nehru Cup finalists

The race to glory: A look at the factors that could decide the Nehru Cup finalists

AIFF

With the Nehru Cup halfway through the group stages, Goal.com has a look at the various combinations of results that might decide the two finalists....

We are half way through the Nehru Cup, and a clearer picture has emerged of the sides capable of winning the trophy and the ones who are no longer in the race.

Goal.com has a look at the teams still in the fray for a berth in the final and goes through all the permutations and combinations which would decide the two teams that shall fight in the final.

Firstly, let's have a look through the rules that are set in place to decide which two side's make the cut for the final.

1. The two teams with the most points after the group stages.

2. If twoor more teams are tied on the same number of points, and only one can go through, then the head-to-head record is referred to.

3. Even after that, if the two sides cannot be seperated, then the goal difference is checked.

4. If none of the above rules lead to a decisive result, then a coin toss decides who reaches the final.

Nehru Cup group stage - Possible outcomes

Remaining fixtures
Cameroon Vs Maldives

Syria Vs Nepal

India Vs Cameroon

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Country GP PTS GD GS
India 3 7 4 5
Maldives 3 6 -1 4
Cameroon 2 4 5 7
Syria 3 1 -2 4
Nepal 3 1 -6 1

Who is already knocked out?

From now to the end of the group stage, no matter what happens, Nepal, and more shockingly Syria, will not be a part of the final to be held on September 2nd.

The Gorkhalis  looked well out of their depth in the competition in the first two games. While they lost only 2-1 to Maldives, they never looked like they could get the better of the Red Snappers. In the next game against Cameroon though, they were totally outclassed, as the Local Lions side ripped them to shreds in a 5-0 thumping. Credit though should be given to Krishna Thapa's side, for a resilient showing against India, as they held on for a 0-0 draw.

The Syrians meanwhile came with a largely second string side and had been out of competitive action for over a year, when they made their way to Delhi. While they started confidently against India, once the ground conditions deteriorated, the Blue Tigers turned the tide, and in the end registered a comfortable 2-1 win. Against Cameroon though, the Red Eagles stepped up to a whole new level, and battled to a 2-2 draw.

However it all went wrong against Maldives, as Ali Ashfaq inspired the Red Snappers to a last gasp victory against Marwan Khouri’s side, which eliminated the side, which had been the runner-ups in the last two editions.

India's Scenario

Having beaten Syria and Maldives in their first 2 games, India looked well on their way to the final, with the nation just needing a win against Nepal. However the much improved Gorkhalis did not give away an inch against their hosts, and held on for a draw, jeopardising India's hopes of reaching the final.

India though still have a more than decent chance of reaching the final, with anything but a win for Maldives against Cameroon being enough for the Blue Tigers making it through.

If the Red Snappers do manage a win against the Local Lions, then India will have to avoid defeat against their African opponents to make the final.

Maldives' Scenario

The Red Snappers were supposed to be the whipping boys of the competition, but have proven to be anything but that. While India did beat them comfortably, the side showed great composure and resilience, to beat Nepal and Syria by a similar scoreline of 2-1.

They have been admirably led by their captain Ali Ashfaq, who has been a constant threat in all the three games so far, and holds the key to their progress.

Having lost to India, they are now second on the table with 6 points, having played as many games as India.

Their last fixture is against Cameroon, and the Red Snappers will be knocked out if they lose against the Local Lions, while a win would guarantee them a place in the final.

A draw would leave Istvan Urbanyi’s side at the mercy of the result between India and Cameroon, with anything but a win for Cameroon being enough for Maldives to make it through to the final.

Cameroon's Scenario

The Local Lions have to face the two sides who, alongwith them, are still in contention for a place in the final. While they are presently third in the table, if they beat Maldives in their next game, they will be through to the final with seven points, compared to Maldives’ six, with the Red Snappers having also played a game more and hence completed their group fixtures.

Anything but a win against the Islanders will though see them needing to beat India in their last game, in order to make the final.

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