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Group toppers to be decided today (11/4/2009)
--s2h Team
Group toppers to be decided today

Will Korea and China score more to top their pools?

The semifinal line up is almost certain. India and China from Group A and Korea and Japan from the other pool will move to medal round.

The question that arises uppermost in the minds today is who will top the pool to choose relatively weaker rival in the semis.

After three matches, India leads Pool A with seven points and +28 goal difference (GD). China is second in the pool with seven points, and +17 goal average. India takes on Malaysia while China will lock horns against relatively week Thailand. If China can score heavily, which is a possibility, it can pip India to second spot on goal average.

Indian forwards therefore will have a tough job on hand. If they can have a goal difference of say 6 in today’s match, Korea has to score at least 18 goals against Thailand to top the pool, as they are now 11 goals behind India’s goal difference of +28. India will have time at their disposal as to know how many goals they need to score to top the pool, because they play after China’s match.

The situation in the other pool is similar, though the gulf in the goal difference is not as big in Group A. Korea has +5 GD against Japan. Korea will play Chinese Taipei before Japan takes on Hong Kong. As both Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong are weak teams, the today’s matches will decide the pool topper here.

Though the semifinalists are known, one has to wait long today before knowing the line up.

A stubborn Malaysia can upset India and pip it to second spot unless China too struggles against Thailand, which is unlikely.

However, China’s Korean coach Kim Sam Ryul has said that they have come here to win the title, so question of having or choosing a team of their choice in the semifinals does not arise.

“We have to win both semis and finals, who ever our rivals are”, Kim said matter of fact-ly.

It is interesting to know the suspense is still there in an otherwise dull tournament where things so far went the predicted way.

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