With India, Kenya and New Zealand all likeky to be locked on the same number of points, its down to the permutations and combonations.
Things took an interesting turn at the Intercontinental Cup on Thursday evening as a young New Zealand side defeated India 1-2 at the Mumbai Football Arena.
The Blue Tigers were under pressure right from the start as the All Whites kept squandering chances in front of goal. Although, they drew first blood, the All Whites put two past the Indians to clinch the win.
Now, with India and New Zealand both tied on the same number of points, Kenya can also join the two sides if they win against Chinese Taipei on Friday night. So, the question is which two team’s will contest the tournament’s final?
“The goal-difference will be given first priority, than head-to-head and who qualifies for the final ultimately, will be totally based on the result of the last match between Kenya and Chinese Taipei,” clarified an AIFF official speaking exclusively to Khel Now.
New Zealand, with their second successive win, have gathered six points with a goal-difference of +1, whereas hosts India also have the same points, but with a superior goal-difference of +7.
Kenya, on the other hand, currently sit in third position in the standings with a single win and their last match against Chinese Taipei will be very crucial if they want to dethrone New Zealand and qualify for the final. The Harambee Stars have three points from two games and a goal-difference of -2, which can be turned around with a dominant performance against Chinese Taipei.
If Kenya win against Taipei by a score of 3-0, they will match their GD with that of New Zealand, upon which the winning team in the head-to-head game, Kenya, will progress to the final. The Harambee Stars secured a narrow win against the All Whites a few days ago.
So, after considering all the permutations and combinations, it seems that the Blue Tigers have done enough to book a spot in the showpiece themselves. However, their opponents are yet to be decided as both Kenya and New Zealand seem desperate to take the last spot.