Thursday, April 30, 2009


Ever the optimist, I've been trying to get my head around the rules and regulations of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying games as Group A enters its final stage later today in sunny Dhaka. Myanmar lead the group on six points and to most observers look favourites to qualify, needing just 1 point against Cambodia in their 4.30pm kick-off. But if Cambodia can raise their game and win, that will put a completely different reflection on qualification. If Cambodia beat Myanmar, and score enough goals then it will all rest on the Bangladesh versus Macau match tonight and come down to goal difference, as the hosts will be expected to beat the minnows. And once Group A is decided, then the AFC will have to determine the best ranked of the runners up who'll join the following teams, already through to next year's finals; India, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka. And that's when it starts to get a bit tangled up in the various nuances of the competition's regulations.

Why you ask? Well, it's all to do with next year's eight-team finals in India (to be played in July 2010). The last of the qualifying spots will go to the best ranked runners up out of the four qualifying groups. That would've been easy to pick the best ranked based on points accrued or goal difference or even greater number of goals scored. However, the fly in the ointment is that the number of teams in the groups became lopsided when Afghanistan withdrew. That means the qualifiers will have played an unequal number of group matches so to ensure equality, a comparison mechanism needs to be adopted. The AFC version states that all teams must be compared across a similar number of matches, and their decision is that the result of matches between the runners up and the bottom-placed team in the group will be considered null and void. All points and goals will not be taken into account. And the best ranked runners up will then be based on the following criteria: greater number of points, goal difference, greater number of goals, fewer yellow/red cards or drawing lots.

Are you still with me? Lots of ifs and buts of course but that's always the way with qualifying group stages in major competitions. Qualification from Group A rests on the two matches being played in Bangladesh later today and they are both finely poised to bring us the thrills and spills of knock-out football. I wouldn't have it any other way.
You can read the AFC competition regulations here.

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Anonymous Darath said...

Hi.Andy you can watch live score between Cambodia vs Myanmar from the following link:


hope you see it.

April 30, 2009 at 4:15 PM  

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