Road to Qatar 2022 permutations: How Malaysia can reach the next round of FIFA World Cup qualifying
It's squeaky bum time for the Harimau Malaya as they take on the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Vietnam in their remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying second round matches.
Seng Foo Lee
Thu Jun 03 2021
It's do or die for the Harimau Malaya as they take on the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Thailand in their remaining FIFA World Cup qualifying second round matches.
Only group winners progress to the third qualifying round and directly qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, while it is a bit more complicated for second-placed teams following the withdrawal of North Korea from the competition — the results against the fifth-placed team of each group are not factored in when determining the best runners-up. The rest of the teams settle with the Asian Cup qualifying third round.
Squeaky bum time for Harimau Malaya. Ayuh Malaysiaku!
As it stands, Tan Cheng Hoe's side are second in Group G behind Vietnam. Here are some of the permutations deciding the Harimau Malaya's fate.
Malaysia beat UAE, Vietnam and Thailand:
Malaysia will finish top of Group G regardless of other group rivals' results. They will have 18 points, while Vietnam can only get a maximum of 17 points and UAE will have 15 points at most.
Malaysia draw with UAE and beat Vietnam and Thailand:
Malaysia will be assured of a second-place finish at least. They could finish top of Group G depending on Vietnam's result against UAE or Indonesia.
UAE win all games, while Malaysia beat Vietnam and Thailand:
Malaysia will finish second in Group G with 15 points, behind UAE (18 points). Vietnam, who lose to Malaysia and UAE, will only have a maximum of 14 points.
UAE win all games but lose to Vietnam, while Malaysia beat Vietnam and Thailand:
Malaysia will finish second or third depending on their goal difference as well as UAE's. As it stands, UAE have a better goal difference than Malaysia.
Malaysia beat UAE but lose to Vietnam and Thailand:
Malaysia will finish outside the top two in Group G if Thailand avoid defeats against UAE and Indonesia, or UAE beat Thailand and Indonesia.
Malaysia draw all three games:
Malaysia can still possibly finish second in the group but they will need UAE to win all their games and Indonesia to defeat Thailand and Vietnam.
Malaysia beat UAE and Thailand but lose to Vietnam:
Malaysia will be relatively safe, as they will only finish outside the top two if UAE win their other three games with huge margins and Vietnam avoid a loss against Indonesia. Should that happen, goal difference will be key.
Malaysia beat UAE and Vietnam but lose to Thailand:
If Indonesia lose all their games, Malaysia will need UAE to beat Vietnam or Thailand to remain in the top two.