Thursday, July 2, 2015

The many IFS that come in now...

MALAYSIA failed to take the easy path, and now the 'ifs' come into the picture as they play France in the 5th-8th placing match in the World League Semifinals in Antwerp, today (Friday).
  And France won't be easy, as they took hosts Belgium on a long ride before bowing out 4-5 in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
  But if Malaysia beat France and then beat either Pakistan or Ireland, the other 5th-8th playoff teams, they can book their Rio de Janeiro flight tickets before returning home to Malaysia.
  This is because four more ifs imerge for coach Tai Beng Hai and his men, provided then win the last two matches here.
  The first if is for India to finish top-three in Belgium, and it opens the doors for first reserve Canada who finished fourth in the WL Semifinals in Argentina.
  And the second if is for Australia to beat New Zealand and become the Oceania Cup champions, and this will open the door to the fifth team in Argentina which is Spain, because Spain is ranked 11th and higher than Malaysia.
  And then the third if is for Argentina or Canada to win the Pan American and this will take the fifth team in Belgium to the Olympics, assuming Malaysia end fifth in Antwerp.
  Even the sixth spot is valuable, as Germany, Netherlands, Britain, Belgium might just end up as European champions and open another slot but it will then go to New Zealand who are the highest ranked sixth placed team in Argentina.
  And the seventh is also capable of playing in the Olympics, because hosts Brazil must finish among the top six in the Pan Amrican, if not they will not be eligible -- aqnd this is an International Hockey Federation challenge to the hosts.
  And finally, the eight spot is also an Olympic contender, because South Africa Olympic Council are not happy their hockey team did not qualify for the World League Semifinals, and told them even if they finish as champions in the African Cup, they cant go.
  There, the many ifs that are available for Malaysia to reach the Olympics, provided they don't start by blowing up against France Friday.