Wednesday 30 August 2017

All we need now is..

..a win in Japan*..or to stick to the original plan of 4 points over 2 matches.

UAE did us a huge favour but we need to focus on the task at hand.

Whoever wins in Japan now qualifies automatically, so there is a big incentive for both teams to chase for the win.

On another note, we mustn't let Japan win because it's less likely they will put up a good fight against Saudi Arabia in their final match at 3.30am, 6 September 2017 if that happens. They will be sitting pretty on 20 points, already qualified. We will be punished twice for losing, essentially - possibly gifting Saudi Arabia the win.

Also, UAE need to rely on Japan beating Saudi Arabia and/or Thailand beating us AND an 8+-0 scoreline against Iraq. Given that Thailand is the bottom ranked side, they won't fancy Thailand's chances of doing them a favour so they will be hoping Japan have something to play for in the last match. So UAE will want us to get a draw or better tomorrow night so that Japan have a real incentive to beat Saudi Arabia.

*That's because Saudi Arabia and Japan play each other in the final match, such that if Australia were to win in Saitama, there is no way both teams can overtake Australia's tally of 19.

Andre Lim

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