What is needed for Vietnam to win quarterfinal ticket at 2020 AFC U23 Championship?

Tuesday, 2020-01-14 08:25:13
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Although Vietnam U23s have lost the right to decide their own fate, they still have a chance to reach the quarter-finals at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship. (Photo: AFC)
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NDO – Despite losing the right to decide their own fate in Group D at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship, the hope to progress to the quarter-finals in the Thailand-based tournament remains intact for Vietnam in the last round.

>>> Vietnam U23s salvage 0-0 draw against Jordan

On the evening of January 13, coach Park Hang-seo side's entered their second group game against Jordan U23s, targeting the full three points. However, against a tight and disciplined Jordan, Vietnam could only earn their second consecutive stalemate draw, following a 0-0 tie with UAE in their opener on January 10. With only two points after two matches, the door to the quarterfinals has narrowed quite a lot for Vietnam, but there is still hope.

After two matches, Vietnam are temporarily ranked third in Group D with two points from two goalless draws. Vietnam are still unbeaten and the only team so far in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournament to have not conceded yet. Coach Park and his boys are placed behind the two leading teams, UAE and Jordan (with four points each), while DPR Korea were eliminated after two losing matches.

With the results after two matches, Vietnam are facing a disadvantage in the race to win one of the two quarterfinal tickets from the group. Coach Park's players are in third with only two points and zero in goal difference (without having scoring anything). UAE take the lead with four points and +2 in goal difference, while Jordan also have four points but are ranked second with +1 in goal difference.

The current rankings in Group D at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship, before the final round of the group stage. (Photo: AFC)

In the final match, Vietnam are forced to win against DPR Korea, while having to wait for the results of the remaining match between Jordan and UAE to end in their favour. If Vietnam cannot claim a win in their last match, they will be eliminated, without considering the result of the remaining clash between UAE and Jordan.

In the Thailand-based tournament, the head to head factor will be considered above the goal difference, meaning that if Vietnam win against DPR Korea, but UAE and Jordan draw with a score other than 0-0, the reigning runners-up will be eliminated.

If Vietnam win over DPR Korea while UAE and Jordan hold each other 0-0, all three teams will have collected five points after three matches, and the head to head between three teams followed by the goal difference in matches of the three teams and the goals scored by teams in the group stage will be considered to decide the rankings.

So, Vietnam will enter the quarterfinals in the following cases:

+ If Vietnam beat DPR Korea, and UAE and Jordan have a winning or losing result.

+ If Vietnam beat DPR Korea with a margin of two goals or over, and UAE and Jordan have a 0-0 draw. Vietnam will collect the go-ahead ticket with better goal difference than Jordan.

+ If Vietnam beat DPR Korea with a narrow one-goal margin but score three goals or more, and UAE and Jordan have a 0-0 draw. In this case, Vietnam will go ahead with better goal scoring in the group stage compared to Jordan.

+ If Vietnam win 2-1 over DPR Korea, and the remaining Group D match draws 0-0, then Vietnam U23 will go on if they have received fewer yellow cards than Jordan.

But, if Vietnam win 1-0 over DPR Korea U23, and UAE U23 and Jordan draw with a score of 0-0, Vietnam will be eliminated due to collecting fewer goals than Jordan.

Captain Quang Hai and his teammates are forced to win against DPR Korea in the last round, while waiting for the remaining match between Jordan and UAE to end with favourable results for them. (Photo: AFC)

Thus, excluding the case that Vietnam will definitely be eliminated if they do not win over DPR Korea (draw or loss), Vietnam still have hope in the opportunity to continue if one of the four favourable developments mentioned above happens. The mandatory task for Park's men in the last match is to win and score as many goals as possible against DPR Korea.

Vietnam will battle with Jordan and UAE for one of the two spots in the quarter-finals on Thursday, with Park’s side facing DPR Korea at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok and UAE playing Jordan at Buriram Stadium in Buriram. Both matches of the final matchday of Group D will take place at the same time, at 8.15 pm on January 16.

TRUNG HUNG