AFC Cup: What ATK Mohun Bagan and other teams in Group D need to reach the next round

Hero Indian Super League (ISL) outfit ATK Mohun Bagan are in pole position in Group D of the AFC Cup heading into the final round of matches at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday.

However, it’s still all to play for for all the teams involved in the group as all four teams are tied on three points ahead of the final set of fixtures.

As it stands, goal difference is separating the teams, with the Mariners leading the race but the equation could be different come Tuesday evening.

Read: Confidence, emotions of players and not tactics will decide match against Maziya, says ATK Mohun Bagan's Juan Ferrando

Only the group winners will advance to the next stage of the competition and thus it leaves the teams involved no room for error on the final day.

There is a high probability of two or even more than two teams ending on the same number of points and thus teams would need to be aware of the tie breakers that apply in such situations.

Here’s a look at the tie breakers that will be used to separate two or more teams locked on the same number of points.

Tie breakers

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams are still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
  5. Goal difference in all group matches;
  6. Goals scored in all group matches;
  7. Penalty shoot-out if only two teams playing each other in the last round of the group are tied;
  8. Disciplinary points (yellow card = 1 point, red card as a result of two yellow cards = 3 points, direct red card = 3 points, yellow card followed by direct red card = 4 points);
  9. Association ranking;
  10. Drawing of lots.

Fixtures:

Gokulam Kerala FC vs Bashundhara Kings (4:30 PM IST)

ATK Mohun Bagan vs Maziya S&RC (8:30 PM IST)

To simplify this further, here’s a look at what each team needs heading into the last match. No team has their fate totally in their own hands and the results of both the matches will decide the final standings of the group.

ATK Mohun Bagan (Pts: 3, GD: +2)

For the Mariners, the equation is simple. They will have to win their final match against Maziya to have any chance of qualifying for the next round and also hope that Gokulam Kerala who have a better head-to-head record against them fail to win against Bashundhara Kings. A Gokulam Kerala win will eliminate ATK Mohun Bagan even before they kick off at the Salt Lake stadium.

However, if Gokulam Kerala draw against Bashundhara Kings, ATK Mohun Bagan will qualify with just a draw in their match against Maziya. If both matches end in draws, all four teams will be locked on four points. In that case, the head-to-head record goes out of the window and the team with the best goal difference will progress which will be ATK Mohun Bagan.

A defeat will end ATK Mohun Bagan’s chances of qualifying for the next round.

Read: Winning against Maziya S&RC is our only motivation now, says ATK Mohun Bagan’s Pritam Kotal

Gokulam Kerala (Pts:3, GD:+1)

For the Kerala-based side, it’s win or bust. Any other result apart from a victory will see them get eliminated. If they do secure all three points against Bashundhara Kings, they would need ATK Mohun Bagan to not lose against Maziya to have a chance. A Maziya win against the Mariners would eliminate Gokulam Kerala despite a win in their match thanks to a poor head-to-head record against the Maldives outfit.

Maziya S&RC (Pts:3, GD:0)

The equation is similar to Gokulam Kerala for Maziya as any result apart from a win would send them packing. Even if they manage to beat ATK Mohun Bagan, they would need Gokulam Kerala to not lose against Bashundhara Kings to have a chance of making the next round.

Bashundhara Kings (Pts:3, GD:-3)

The Bangladesh champions need to beat Gokulam Kerala in their final game and hope ATK Mohun Bagan do not win against Maziya S&RC.

Any other result apart from a win in their final game would see them bow out. An ATK Mohun Bagan win in the second match would also spell the end of their campaign even if they beat Gokulam Kerala in their final match.

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