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Asian Games 2023 Football Tournament: How will the Indian football teams qualify for the knockouts?

Both the Men’s and Women’s national teams of India have huge stakes in the final group game of the Asian Games 2023 Football Tournament. Check out how the Indian football teams qualify for the knockouts.

MB
Last updated: 23.09.2023
Indian Football Team at Asian Games 2023

India’s national teams have suffered through a lot of issues, the majority being off-field problems, which have hampered their preparation for the Asian Games 2023. India was denied entry to the competition by the sports ministry in the first place. The decision was reversed after a public request to send the teams to China. However, it created its own sort of problems causing extensive dramas leading up to the tournament.

The Men’s team gathered their final squad at the last moment after players from the initial called-up list were not released by clubs because of schedule clashes with the Indian Super League (ISL) and the AFC competitions. The Asian Games were also not part of the FIFA window so clubs were not mandated to release players for national duties. A 17-member squad with five more players joining later was announced instead after AIFF reached an agreement with league owners FSDL. The team landed in China a day prior to facing the hosts without any preparation and spending the night in the airport. They got smashed 5-1 in the opener even though Rahul KP’s goal before half-time to make it 1-1 gave some belief. Although the Blue Tigers recovered to win against Bangladesh in the second match amid a slender 1-0 win from the spot, the final group match against Myanmar becomes a must-win one.

The situation is a little different with the Women’s team but it is again the off-field turmoil that caused trouble. Unlike the men’s, the Blue Tigresses got a proper preparation camp with players going through repeated training sessions to build up cohesion. The issue for the side was the lack of game time before arriving in China for the Asian Games. Apart from players plying trade in the European leagues like Manisha Kalyan and Jyoti Chauhan, others only received competitive games in the IWL back in May. The last time, the women’s national team took the pitch was in April in the round 1 Olympics qualifiers missing out on the next FIFA window completely. All this because the federation was undecided on the manager selection for the side. After much dilemma, they renewed present coach Thomas Dennerby’s contract but the team went on to lose 2-1 to Chinese Taipei in the first group match of the Asian Games despite taking a memorable lead against the 38th-ranked nation.                             

Here we look at the possibility of the national teams qualifying for the knockout stages of the Asian Games 2023 football tournament: 

Indian Men’s Football Team at Asian Games 2023

Captain Sunil Chhteri’s 85th-minute penalty against Bangladesh provided much relief to the Blue Tigers’s camp as they secured their first victory in the tournament. It was important because it helped India climb to second in the table which will allow them direct qualification to the round of 16. Both they and Myanmar are on the same points and also on the same goal difference making the clash between the pair all the more important.

A draw will force calculations with the goal difference coming into factor. If then also the teams are tied, the number of goals scored from all group matches between the teams will decide who goes through. India are ahead in that sense scoring two goals compared to Myanmar’s one that too from an own goal in their first match. The four best third-place teams will also make it to the knockouts should the Blue Tigers finish third by suffering defeat. However, that will be a more complex and difficult route to help themselves qualify.    

Pos

Team

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

1

China (Q)

2

2

0

0

9

1

8

6

2

India

2

1

0

1

2

5

-3

3

3

Myanmar

2

1

0

1

1

4

-3

3

4

Bangladesh (E)

2

0


0

0

2

-2

0


Check out the Indian Men's Football Team Asian Games 2023


Indian Women’s Football Team at Asian Games 2023

A valiant effort from the Blue Tigresses went undone after Anju Tamang’s lead right after the half-time break was canceled and then replaced by Chinese Taipei who completed a 2-1 comeback victory. It was a heartbreaking defeat for Thomas Dennerby’s as they not only lost the game but put their Asian Games stay in jeopardy. India have to win the group to qualify for the quarterfinals directly while it will be a possibility if they finish second. They are placed in Group B consisting of three nations with Thailand being the other. Their final group game is against the 48th-ranked nation who incidentally will play their first group game against the Blue Tigresses.

The women’s national team, 61st in the latest rankings, will face another higher-ranked opposition in the game and hope they can earn a victory this time. A tall task for them while they must avoid defeat at any cost. Otherwise, elimination is guaranteed. Irrespective of the result, the Blue Tigresses will entirely rely on the game between Thailand and Chinese Taipei to decide their faith in the competition. A victory in the final game with a defeat to Thailand in their last game will help India secure the second spot with a possibility of moving into the next stages. A draw and then a loss for Thailand against Chinese Taipei or India and Thailand both winning their final group games will put goal-difference in the factor, as the points will be the same, to decide the outcome of the group.


Pos

Team

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

1

Chinese Taipei

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

2

Thailand

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

India

1

0

0

1

1

2

-1

0


Also check out Indian Women’s Football team Asian Games 2023


Asian Games Indian Football Team’s Fixtures


Sunday, 24 September 2023


India (W) vs Thailand (W) - Wenzhou Olympic Sports Center, Wenzhou (1:30 PM)


India(M) vs Myanmar(M) - Xiaoshan Sports Complex (5 PM)

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