Indian Men’s Hockey team is appearing for the 4th consecutive time in the Olympics qualifier. Justifying their top rank, they have qualified for the finals, and now await their opponent in the final. Unless India loses by a margin of more than 13 goals in their last match, three teams face the permutations to be their opponent in the final.
Looking to avoid the historical shame of not qualifying for the 2008 Olympics, they have been given the easiest chance to qualify now, playing the easiest of the three Olympic qualifiers. They have won all matches, except the one against Canada, easily.
- India and Canada win, France and Poland out.
India wins Canada lose, France in and Poland out.
Canada and Poland win, one with better goal difference joins India in final.
Either France or Poland win, winner joins India in Final.
Canada wins, Poland draws/wins – Poland in final.
France draws, India wins – France in final.
Poland, France and Canada will play their last pool matches to grab the vacant place for the final. India with 3 points clear and a positive goal difference of 26 are set to be the leader of the pool.
Only two big upset, both almost impossible, on final day can prevent Indian entry into the final:
1. France defeating Canada by a huge margin (27 goals)
2. Poland defeating India by a hugee margin (14 goals)
Probably, both cannot happen together and that leaves India as the clear finalist. Now, according to permutations which of the three teams can join India in the final!!
Goal Difference for The Trio
- Canada: +21
- Poland and France – 9
Canada – 6
Canada is the Best Contender on Current Form
Canada with a close loss against India has 6 points and a goal difference of +21. They are easily the second best team in the Qualifiers. They are well placed to beat France which will take them ahead of France in terms of Goal Difference.
Considering the close match against Canada, India may not like to face them in the final for their much-awaited Olympic reappearance. If Poland draws or wins against India, Canada has no chance for final.
Poland Has Better Chance than France
Poland has the toughest option. But, if Canada wins, they will just need a draw to reach the final. They must win against India to reach the final. They cannot afford a draw or loss, if France wins against Canada. They need at least a draw, if not victory to move ahead of Canada and France in the points table, if Canada beats France.
Although Indian Men are in exceptional form, they should be wary of Poland as they have already lost to them in Olympics.
France has a Tough Chance Too
France needs to beat Canada – the second best team of the tournament. A win may probably ensure their entry to final, as Poland’s victory against India should be a big upset.
If they do consider Poland’s probable victory, a win by margin of more than 5 goals would see them through the final. A tough option for them, but then entering the Olympics may serve as the big boost.
India will appreciate France as opponent in final too, considering a superior record against them.
Final Verdict for trio to reach final
- Canada wins, Poland loses – Canada in final.
France wins, Poland lose/draws – France in final.
Poland wins, France lose/draws – Poland in final.
France/Poland draws, one of them lose – loser is out.