Tokyo 2020 dreams on the line on final day of Round 2
Kuala Lumpur: Seven teams remain in contention for three places in the last eight on the last day of action in Round 2 of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers on Tuesday.
With the all three groups going down to the wire, the-AFC.com looks at the state of play in Mandalay, Tashkent and Doha, ahead of what promises to be a drama-filled Matchday Three.
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In contention: Myanmar, India Eliminated: Nepal, Indonesia Fixtures: Myanmar v India, Indonesia v Nepal
Win the match, win the group: The equation couldn't be simpler for Myanmar and India, although the group hosts' 6-0 defeat of Indonesia on Saturday gives them the extra breathing space of a healthy goal difference advantage, meaning a draw will also be good enough to send them to the third round.
"Tomorrow against Myanmar 🇲🇲, we will fight 👊 for every inch 🙌🔥"— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) April 8, 2019
🇮🇳 Indian women's team head coach @maymolrocky turns writer ✍️ for the official website!
Read her words here 👉 https://t.co/4ttcIGRt91#IndianFootball #BackTheBlue #ShePower pic.twitter.com/6XeAJ6FCWN
July Kyaw scored a very early goal, and Win Theingi Tun a very late one, as Myanmar beat India 2-0 in Bhubaneswar two months ago, but Maymol Rocky's India have since put together a run of six wins in a row, and will enter the match with no shortage of belief.
This stage of the competition has seen Theingi Tun continue her stunning scoring spree in Asian qualifiers, netting three goals in two matches to take her tally to 14 in her last nine appearances in AFC competitions, while Yee Yee Oo - who helped herself to a hat-trick against Indonesia - has scored 10 times in the same span.
Back to back losses mean Indonesia and Nepal are unable to advance, with the two sides to battle for pride in their final match at Bahtoo Stadium.
In contention: Vietnam, Uzbekistan Eliminated: Hong Kong, Jordan Fixtures: Vietnam v Jordan, Hong Kong v Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan's Nilufar Kudratova-inspired late show in their 2-0 win over Jordan on Saturday kept the group hosts alive, but Vietnam remain very much in control of their own destiny with one match to play in Group B.
A win or draw for the Southeast Asians against Jordan at Transportation Institute Stadium will guarantee Mai Duc Chung's side's place in the third round, but a loss to the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup hosts could open the door for Uzbekistan.
Should Jordan beat Vietnam, Uzbekistan would require a win against Hong Kong at Lokomotiv Stadium to leapfrog them into first place, with Kudratova's brace against Al Nashmiyat possibly proving to be a crucial goal-difference boost.
In contention: Chinese Taipei, Islamic Republic of Iran, Philippines Eliminated: Palestine Fixtures: Chinese Taipei v Islamic Republic of Iran, Philippines v Palestine
A stunning four-goal turnaround to beat Philippines 4-2 on Saturday means Chinese Taipei hold the keys in Doha, and six points from a possible six thus far means one more point on Tuesday will confirm progression to the last eight for Kazuo Echigo's side.
While Chinese Taipei are in the driver's seat, Islamic Republic of Iran's stunning 9-0 win over Palestine means Maryam Azmoun's side will have a say in the final outcome themselves. The goal difference accrued in Saturday's victory means Team Melli will leapfrog their East Asian opponents with three points Grand Hamad Stadium.
If Iran are successful in beating Chinese Taipei, the door will swing ever-so-slightly open for the Philippines, who must not only beat Palestine, but do so with sufficient force to overturn a seven-goal goal difference deficit to Iran.
The three teams to emerge as group winners will advance to the eight-team third round of qualifying, where Australia, Korea Republic, DPR Korea, China PR and Thailand lie in wait, with two sides to ultimately join hosts Japan as Asian representatives at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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