AFC Cup 2019: What equation will get Chennaiyin to the next round?
by Shubham Sharma
Guwahati: Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Chennaiyin FC played a 1-1 draw against Minerva Punjab FC at the Indira Gandhi athletic stadium here on Wednesday.
The I-league outfit Minerva drew the first blood through Samuel but Rafi equalised for the Chennai-based side to earn a point for the team. In the other group fixture, Abahani Dhaka defeated Nepali club Manang Marshyangdi by 5-0 to climb to the top of the table with 10 points from 5 games, followed by Chennaiyin with 8 points from 5 games.
This now means that the road to the interzonal playoffs for the Machans hinges on the result of the fixture between Minerva and Abahani Dhaka on 26th of June. Let us take a look at the possible outcomes on the matchday 6 and its results:
Outcome 1: Chennaiyin lose or draw against Manang Marshyangdi in their final game - That would mean Chennaiyin'e exit irrespective of the outcome of the Minerva-Abahani fixture.
Outcome 2: Chennaiyin win against Manang, Minerva lose to Abahani: Abahani Dhaka will go through with 13 points.
Outcome 3: Chennaiyin win against Manang, Minerva and Abahani play draw: Chennaiyin will go through as they have scored more away goals in head-to-head matches against Abahani. (Rule regulation 10.5)
Outcome 4: Chennaiyin win against Manang, Minerva defeat Abahani : Chennaiyin will go through.
As it stands, a win for Chennaiyin is a must and the Machans will have to keep an eye on the Minerva-Abahani fixture, as anything except a loss will be enough to send the ISL outfit through.