How can India qualify for the SAFF Championship Final 2021?

The Indian football team has had a difficult start to their SAFF Championship 2021 campaign as they remain winless after two matches.

The Blue Tigers find themselves at the fourth position in the table with just two points from an equal number of games.

Maldives picked up a win against Bangladesh on Thursday night and they have leapfrogged India to third place.

Meanwhile, we have a surprising leader in Nepal, followed by a second placed Bangladesh. Let’s have a look at the points table (right) for more clarity.

What are the rules that determine the standings?

1. Most number of points obtained in the league matches. However, if two or more teams are equal on points, then their place shall be determined as follows:

2. Points in the head-to-head clashes

3. Goal difference in the head-to-head clashes

4. Number of goals in the head-to-head clashes

5. The overall goal difference

6. Number of goals scored in league matches

7. Kicks from the penalty spot if only two teams are involved and they are both on the field of play

8. Drawing of lots How can India qualify for the finals?

Scenario 1

India win their next two matches Even after drawing the first two games, Igor Stimac’s men firmly have their fortunes in their own hands. If they win the next two games, they will finish with eight points and will qualify for the final regardless of other results.

Scenario 2

India win against Nepal but draw againt Maldives In this scenario, the situation might become a bit complicated. India will finish on six points from four matches. For India to qualify here, Nepal must not lose against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also must not lose against Maldives.

Scenario 3

If India win against Maldives and draw against Nepal Even in this situation, India will finish on six points. But for the Blue Tigers to qualify, Bangladesh must not win against Nepal. Even if Maldives win against Sri Lanka, they will not qualify on head-to-head against India.

Scenario 4

India draw with Nepal and Maldives It will be really difficult for Sunil Chhetri and co. if they do not improve and are held by Nepal and Maldives as well. Then they will end up with four points. For India to have a chance of qualification in this case, Maldives and Bangladesh must lose against Sri Lanka and Nepal in their respective matches. If this happens, then four teams will be locked at four points. And the head-to-head equation will also come into play in this scenario.

Scenario 5

India lose any of the next two matches If India lose any of the remaining two matches, then they cannot qualify for the final. So in order to go through without complicating matters, the best way is to win the remaining two matches against Nepal and Maldives respectively and challenge for the eighth title.

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