Following their loss to UAE in the AFC Asian Cup 2019, India have lost the lead atop the Group A standings but still see themselves second in the table.
With the top two spots assured passage to the knockout stages, India hold a lead over Thailand who are third thanks to having the benefit of the tiebreakers.
However, with Bahrain on the horizon and Thailand going up against tournament hosts UAE, India need to ensure their passage into the next round by getting maximum points over their last Group A opponent.
INDIA BEAT BAHRAIN
If they beat Bahrain, then it does not matter if Thailand get a victory over UAE as well as that ensures India’s inclusion to the next round, if Thailand beat UAE that drops the hosts to third place and the War Elephants go up to second.
BAHRAIN BEAT INDIA
In the instance that Bahrain beat India, things get complicated for the group. Currently with one point, Bahrain now is at four and India definitely drops out of the top two spots. If Thailand lose to UAE, India have a slight chance depending on their place among the other third-placed teams. If the Thais get at least a point then India drop down to fourth and they’re eliminated.
INDIA AND BAHRAIN DRAW
If India and Bahrain end in a draw, then UAE must get at least a point against Thailand so India secures their spot in second place. If UAE and Thailand end in a draw, the hosts have five points to remain atop, and India and Thailand both have four points – in which the tiebreaker goes to India.
Assuming India gets a point against Bahrain and Thailand beat UAE, then Thailand end up atop Group A, with UAE second, and India third as they lose the tiebreaker to the hosts.
With all these, India must try and forget the frustration they had with all the missed chances against UAE and concentrate on getting the win over Bahrain in their final group stage match of the competition.