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AFC Asian Cup Group A scenarios - How India, UAE, Thailand and Bahrain can qualify for round of 16

Anirudh Thapa scores India's third goal with a delightful dink over the goalkeeper.

After four matches of the group stages in Group A of the AFC Asian Cup, all four teams are in with a chance of making the round of 16. 

Thailand gave themselves a lifeline with a 1-0 win against Bahrain, while hosts UAE's 2-0 win meant India were denied an opportunity to put themselves into the second round. UAE now lead the group, but aren't yet through. So, what are India's chances of qualifying, and what do they need to do against Bahrain in their last match in Sharjah on January 14?


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Scenario 1: India win

They are through if they win, as it takes them to six points. They will also be assured of a finish in the top two of the group, with UAE (four points) meeting Thailand (three points) in Al Ain at the same time.

If Thailand hold UAE to a draw, or beat them, India will finish top of the group, as head-to-head is the first tiebreaker between two points on level points, which is where India and Thailand would find themselves then.

Scenario 2: India draw

If India draw, then they must hope for UAE to either win or draw against Thailand to assure themselves of progress to the second round. This would leave India on four points, and they would need to at least be level on points with Thailand, who would also be on four points should they draw against UAE. India would then go through as the second-placed team from Group A.

A UAE defeat against Thailand would complicate matters for India, who would then sit third in Group A, and hope to qualify as one of the top four third-place finishers at the end of the group stages.

Scenario 2: India lose

If India lose, they will definitely not finish in the top two, and they would have to hope for UAE to beat Thailand in order to finish in third place and finish with a chance of going through as one of the best-placed third-placed finishers.

A Thailand win or draw would then condemn India to a last-place finish in their group.

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