Qualifying for the AFC Challenge Cup w/o winning TWO Games

By Ryan Fenix

Was listening to the news yesterday night, and I almost fell off my chair when the sports reporter announced that we need TWO WINS to go through to the AFC Challenge Cup 2012.

That’s utterly false, and really one should investigate further before reporting fallacies on primetime TV.

We CAN go through with ONE WIN and TWO DRAWS.

Here’s how it works :
The top two teams go through. But how do we determine the top two teams?

One win   = 3 points.
One draw = 1 point.
One loss  = 0 points.

The top two teams are the teams with the most POINTS after the three game qualilfying tournament.

Here is the complete schedule for our group :


21 March 2011 15:30
MYANMAR – Philippines

21 March 2011 18:00
PALESTINE – Bangladesh

23 March 2011 15:30
Philippines – PALESTINE

23 March 2011 18:00
BANGLADESH-MYANMAR

25 March 2011 15:30
BANGLADESH – Philippines

25 March 2011 15:30
MYANMAR-PALESTINE


Here is an example of how we can progress :

vs Myanmar    — DRAW.
vs Palestine    — DRAW.
vs Bangladesh — WIN.

We would have a total of 5 points.

NOW, depending on other team’s results, that MAY be enough to get us through.

Sample Results :

21 March 2011 15:30
MYANMAR – Philippines : Draw.

21 March 2011 18:00
PALESTINE – Bangladesh : Draw.

23 March 2011 15:30
Philippines – PALESTINE : Draw.

23 March 2011 18:00
BANGLADESH-MYANMAR : MYA WIN.

25 March 2011 15:30
BANGLADESH – Philippines : PHI WIN.

25 March 2011 15:30
MYANMAR-PALESTINE : MYA WIN.

In the above scenario, the standings will be :

                W  L  D Points

Myanmar     2  0  1  7
Philippines   1  0  2  5
Palestine     0  1  2  2
Bangladesh  0  2  1  1


In this case, Myanmar and the Philippines (the top two teams) go through.
The Azkals go through even though we drew two games and won only one game.

This should dispel the notion that we SHOULD win two games to do so.
OF COURSE, winning two games would make the task so much easier, but winning one (and drawing two) COULD be enough, depending on the other results.

As Fire Quinito pointed out, we did only win one game back in December in the Suzuki Cup (and drew two), and we went on to the semi-finals.

———

So please, don’t misinform the general public. Let’s educate them on how football works.
It may be a bit difficult. Coming from a basketball point of view, what is a freakin ‘draw’?
But this Football (Soccer) 101 should be done.

For us to be true footballing nation, as Sev Sarmenta said.
Editor’s Note: This article was written by Ryan Fenix, a football enthusiast who runs the blog The Prawn Sandwich Brigade.