BANGKOK – The Philippine men’s football team vaulted from the cellar to second spot in its group with a 1-0 win over Vietnam on Tuesday night at Rajamangala Stadium, boosting its chances of returning to the semifinals of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.
Host Thailand has already secured the first semifinal slot after outclassing Myanmar, 4-0, also on Tuesday night.
But a semifinal appearance is far from guaranteed and there are still plenty of “what ifs” for the Azkals ahead of their clash with Myanmar on the last day of the group stage on Friday at the Suphachalasai National Stadium.
Here are the current standings:
And here are the scenarios:
If the Azkals defeat Myanmar (regardless of scoreline):
The Azkals will finish the group stage with six points and seize the remaining Final Four berth. Even if Vietnam defeats host Thailand, the Azkals will be safely through as the Red Warriors can only finish with four points at the most and will go out along with Myanmar.
If the Azkals are held to a draw by Myanmar:
The Azkals will finish the group stage with four points. They can make it to the semifinals outright if Vietnam loses to Thailand. If the Vietnamese defeat the hosts, they would tie the Azkals’ point total. With the fight going down to goal difference, the Azkals would have to score more goals than the Vietnamese to advance. (i.e. Azkals score a 1-1 draw vs Myanmar and Vietnam beats Thailand, 1-0).
If the Azkals and Myanmar play to a scoreless draw and Vietnam beats Thailand by a point, the Vietnamese advance.
If the Azkals lose to Myanmar:
The Azkals, unfortunately, will miss the semifinals and gift Myanmar with a trip to the semifinals with four points at the end of the group stage. Myanmar advances if Vietnam loses to Thailand. If the Vietnamese beat the host squad, the last semifinal ticket will boil down to goal difference between Myanmar and Vietnam.