Despite the intricacies of the AFC Cup rules pertaining to the qualification from the group stage to the knockout stage, how things stand heading into the final day of action - here's the breakdown of the possible permutations for Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).
The ASEAN zone is spread across three groups and the four ASEAN zone semi-finalists will from these three groups. One winner from each group and the best second place team amongst the three groups. However, with Group H only having three teams - this is where it gets a little complicated.
To ensure that it is fair to teams from Group H, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) decided that qualification will only be based on results between top three teams in each group.
Scenario 1: If JDT win against Magwe or draw against Magwe
JDT will have 13 points and Magwe will finished last in Group F. Taking into account only results from the top three in Group F - JDT will have a total of 9 points. Group H's Than Quang Ninh (Vietnam) will be out as they only have 4 points.
In Group G, with Ceres-Negros FC and Hanoi FC whoever it might be between the two, no result will see the second place team have more points better than JDT.
In this scenario, JDT goes through.
Scenario 2: If JDT lose against Magwe but Magwe still finish last in group
The same outcome as Scenario 1 will happen, in which JDT will go through.
Scenario 3: If JDT lose against Magwe and Magwe finish 3rd in group
This is where it gets tricky for the former AFC Cup champions. They will only have 4 points from results against Global and Magwe. JDT will still be better than Than Quang Ninh if they don't lose to Magwe by more than 7 goals.
From Group G, there are three possible scenarios of its own that will see JDT fail to qualify.
- If Felda United finish last in group. Both Ceres and Hanoi will have 7 points before the final group matches and that is already higher than JDT's 4 points.
- If Tampines Rovers finish last in group. Ceres will have 5 points before final group matches but Hanoi only have 2 points and will need a win over Felda to go through ahead of JDT
In this scenario, JDT need Tampines to finish last in Group G and Felda to deny Hanoi a win, to go through.