NEW DELHI: Defending champions India will take on Syria in the final of Nehru Cup international football tournament here irrespective of the results of their last round-robin fixture against the West Asians on Saturday and Friday’s match between Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan.
India may still get more than six points if they either draw or beat Syria on Saturday but even if they lose by whatever goal margin they will make it to the final for the second consecutive time.
If Sri Lanka beat Kyrgyzstan by a huge goal margin on Friday they will get six points, the same as India, but the island country cannot make it to the final as they had lost to the home team 1-3 in their last round-robin match on Wednesday.
According to the AFC rules, head-on result comes first before goal difference while deciding which team goes to next stage after league engagements.
So the final on August 31 will be repeat of 2007 summit clash between India and Syria.
All India Football Federation General Secretary Alberto Colaco cleared the confusion and said India are already through to the final irrespective of the last two league matches.
“India and Syria have qualified for the final now. Under AFC rules, if two teams get same points after league engagements which team advances to the next stage is decided first by looking into the maximum points between or among contending teams (those who have same points),” Colaco said.
If the matter is not resolved there the goal difference comes into play,” he said.
“If Sri Lanka beats Kyrgyzstan and India lose to Syria, India and Sri Lanka will be the contending teams and India will be through into final as they have beaten Sri Lanka in the round-robin league stage,” he added.
Syria have already made it to the final after beating traditional rivals Lebanon 1-0 on Thursday as they have collected nine points with one match remaining, against India on Saturday.