Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Trequartista Sweeper - AFF Suzuki Cup Scenarios

It has been an interesting AFF Suzuki Cup so far, with virtually interesting and fascinating matches that have resulted in exciting results with one matchday remaining, November 30 in Thailand and December 1 in Malaysia.

Here's a look at what each of the eight nations can do if they have dreams of hosting a home game one week later...

Matchday 3 will take on November 30, with a 9:20 PM (in Manila) kickoff for both matches:

Thailand vs Vietnam at Rajamangala Stadium
The Philippines vs Myanmar at Supachalasai Stadium

Myanmar has the toughest road to climb in this group. They need to win against the Philippines AND (preferably) Thailand beats Vietnam, because if Vietnam wins against the Thais, the 2013 SEA Games hosts will need to beat the Azkals by at least four goals AND whatever the margin of victory the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup champions had secured against the hosts.

Vietnam has a similar road with Myanmar, in that they need to win their match against their opponent to have any chance of advancing, but that still depends on the result of the Philippines-Myanmar match. If Myanmar wins, the 2013 SEA Games hosts will need to win by four goals or less PLUS whatever Vietnam's winning margin over Thailand is. If the Azkals manage a draw, Vietnam needs to win by at least two goals over the hosts.

The Philippines can secure a place in the semifinals with a win against Myanmar. They can also secure it with a draw AND Thailand preventing a Vietnamese win. A defeat will eliminate the Philippines from semifinal aspirations. The Azkals have an outside shot at going on top of Group A with a win AND Thailand losing to Vietnam, provided that the combination of a Filipino victory AND a Thai defeat exceeds five.

Thailand has already secured its seat in the semifinals. A draw against Vietnam will be enough to secure the top spot in Group A. In the off chance that they lose, they will still maintain first place if The Philippines fails to win against Myanmar or the Azkals win by less than this equation: [five then subtract the margin of their defeat to Vietnam].

Matchday 3 will take place on December 1, with a 8:45 PM (in Manila) kickoff for both matches:

Malaysia vs Indonesia at Bukit Jalil Stadium
Singapore vs Laos at Shah Alam Stadium

Laos needs to beat Singapore if they have any shot at advancing as a runner-up. It would be better if Indonesia beats Malaysia, as no additional tiebreakers will be necessary, but a win by the defending AFF Suzuki Cup champions will mean that they need to beat Singapore with the margin from this equation: [four then subtract the margin of Malaysia's win over Indonesia].

Malaysia can win the group if they beat Indonesia AND Singapore is unable to win over Laos. If Singapore wins over Laos, they will need to have a winning margin of better than two compared to their Causeway rivals. A draw with Indonesia means the defending Suzuki Cup champions will need to have Laos beat Singapore by a winning margin no larger than 3. Malaysia can afford to lose to Indonesia as well, provided Singapore loses to Laos by a margin at least larger than two.

Singapore can win the group with a victory over Laos AND Indonesia unable to win over Malaysia. If Malaysia beats Indonesia, Singapore can still win the group if their Causeway rivals win by a smaller margin than that of the Lions. They can also advance with a draw if Malaysia does not win over Indonesia. A loss eliminates them from semifinal contention.

Indonesia can win the group with a victory over Malaysia. They can also win the group with a draw, provided Singapore does not win its match against Laos. In fact, the Merah Putih only need a draw to advance to the next round. If they lose to Malaysia, they will need Laos to beat Singapore, but the number needs to be less than this equation: [four then subtract the margin of Malaysia's win over Indonesia].

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