Here are the Coolstreaming Schedules for the World Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday:
Bahrain vs. Iran 15:30 BST (That's British Summer Time for you who don't know. i.e. 17:30 Bahraini time). Channel: CCTV5
Japan vs. North Korea 13:30 BST Channel: CCTV5
I know I said last time that they were on ESPN, and it turned out that instead there was figure skating. I guess ESPN can't be trusted with its schedules. Remember, if you want to make sure to have an excellent streaming for the game then load up CoolSteaming and CCTV5 way before the game (I'd recommend at least an hour, but the longer the better).
The situation stands as follows:
Iran 10 Japan 9 Bahrain 4 North Korea 0
Bahrain has two games against Iran and North Korea. Japan has two games against North Korea and Iran. Iran two against us and Japan. North Korea two against Japan and us.
The only way we can qualify directly is:
(1) We win BOTH our games.
(2) A. Japan loses both of its games (against North Korea and Iran). (Hence they have nine points and we have ten).
(2) B. Iran loses both of its games (against us and Japan). (Hence Bahrain and Iran have 10 points but we qualify since we would've (hypothetically) beaten them.)
Naturally both options are very remote and hard to achieve, but you can always have hope. I wouldn't like seeing 2 A occur because that means if North Korea beat Japan then they get three points. If things don't go well for us (e.g. lose to Iran) then that means we'd be on 4 points and they on 3. That would put pressure on us for third spot. I'd say right now it's more realistic for us to hope for third, and hence I hope Japan does beat North Korea (which guarantees us third spot). A bird in hand is better than 10 on the tree.
Hence, probably 2 B. is our preferable and more realistic option (since it is partially in our hand if we beat Iran). However, it is very difficult to achieve because:
1. Iran are playing at home with their fans, not to mention that they are just playing well generally at the moment. Also, they still hold a grudge against us from the 2002 World Cup qualifications where we eliminated them.
2. Even if we beat Iran. We must then count on Japan beating Iran. This most probably will not happen. Why? Well if Japan beat or draw against North Korea then they guarantee progression, and hence won't have have much incentive to beat Iran. If Japan lose to North Korea, then a draw would suffice for them to qualifiy. In fact, a draw makes both teams (Iran and Japan) guarantee qualification REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME OF ANY OTHER MATCH. It seems most likely that both teams will subconsciously go for a draw. If I was a gambler I'd have my money on a draw there.
There is one interesting possibility, though. It is really remote and improbable, BUT WHAT IF:
Bahrain beats Iran and North Korea beats Japan?
In this case, we obviously have to beat North Korea to stand a chance for direct qualification. However, our qualification hinges on the result of the other game. If either Japan or Iran win, we go throw, with the losing team eliminated. However, if they draw, then Iran and Japan progress. A skeptical could say there is a chance of collusion here. Hmmm... Anyway, like I said, this is a very remote outcome and will probably never see the day of light.
Our most realistic scenario to qualify is to get third place, play the third of the other group, and then play fourth of the Concacaf group. Looking at the other group, it looks currently between Kuwait and Uzbekistan. I'd honestly prefer Kuwait because then we are guaranteed at least one Arabic team to the next stage and because Uzbekistan worry me (I think we'd have a better chance against Kuwait).
If we do pass that stage, we play the fourth of the Concacaf. That currently looks between Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guatemala. To be honest I don't know much about any of them. Does anyone have any info?
Anyway, I'm looking way ahead to the future. Let's concentrate on the task at hand. Good luck to our national team!
p.s. Get ready for a flood of foul and brain-dead comments from some Iran fans over the next few days. I see they've already taken over bahrainblogs.com Should be good for a laugh to see how low they stoop!
Current Subhuman Count: 8 and counting!
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