The preliminary stage of the I-League Second Division is about to draw to a close with the final round of fixtures set to be played on Sunday. The 18 teams, divided into three groups of six each, are currently battling it out in the preliminary round. This stage also involves reserves sides from Indian Super League (ISL) franchises.
At the end of the stage, the top team from each group along with the best second-placed team will progress to the final round. In case of an ISL reserves side finishing among the qualified positions, their spot shall be handed over to the next best non-ISL side.
According to I-League rules, if two or more teams are tied on points, then the following will be taken into account in order of preference.
1. Greater number of points obtained in head-to-head matches between the respective teams.
2. Greater goal difference in head-to-head matches between the respective teams.
3. Greater number of goals scored in head-to-head matches between the respective teams.
4. Goal-difference in all matches.
5. Greater number of goals scored in all matches.
6. Drawing of lots.
Here, we look at the various permutations possible in all three groups ahead of the final preliminary stages.
|Pune City Reserves||9||2||7||0||10||8||2||13|
|Delhi Dynamos Reserves||9||2||2||5||5||9||-4||8|
Both Real Kashmir and Hindustan FC are currently tied on 19 points each after nine games. The third-best team non-ISL team is Delhi United with eight points which means Real Kashmir and Hindustan FC are assured of the top two slots.
What’s left to be decided is the group winner and runners-up. On the final match-day, Real Kashmir will travel away to FC Pune City reserves while Hindustan FC will take on Delhi United.
Both teams are also tied when it comes down to head-to-head. Hence, it will come to goal-difference if the two teams were to have similar results on the final match-day. Currently, both teams are level on goal-difference (+6) while Real Kashmir have scored a goal more (14) compared to Hindustan FC (13).
Hence, both teams will each be hoping to get a better result compared to the other on May 13.
|Kerala Blasters Reserves||9||6||0||3||24||17||7||18|
|FC Goa Reserves||9||1||3||5||11||15||-4||6|
Ozone FC and Kerala FC are currently tied on 19 points each after 9 games. The third-best non-ISL side in the group currently is Fateh Hyderabad on 14 points. Hence, Ozone FC and Kerala FC are assured of the top two spots, though the group winner remains to be decided.
Ozone FC are slated to take on Kerala Blasters reserves away while FC Kerala travel to take on Fateh Hyderabad on the final match-day.
If the two teams achieve identical results on the final match-day, then Ozone FC will be declared as the group-winner due to their superior head-to-head record against Kerala FC (both games won).
Therefore, Kerala FC will have to better the result that Ozone FC achieves on May 13. If Ozone win against the Blasters’ reserves, Kerala FC will have to hope for a best second-place finish among the three groups.
|Bengaluru FC Reserves||9||5||2||2||19||12||7||17|
|FC Jamshedpur Reserves||10||3||2||5||11||22||-11||11|
|Chennaiyin FC Reserves||10||2||0||8||8||26||-18||6|
Here, Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC are assured of being the group winners already. The Manipur-based outfit have 20 points from their 9 games while the second-best non-ISL team Langsning FC have 15 points.
Langsning FC are not in contention for the best second-placed side too since they can only achieve a maximum of 18 points. With the top two teams in the other two groups already having 19 points each, even a win on the final day will not be enough for the Meghalaya-based side.
Heading into the final match-day on May 13,TRAU FC have confirmed their spot in the final round while three teams out of Real Kashmir, Hindustan FC, Ozone FC and Kerala FC will join them.