Grab the calculator and get ready to employ your PhD in mathematics because Group B at the Oceania Champions League 2023 in Vanuatu has all potential outcomes in play. (Photo Credit: OFC Media via Phototek).
All four teams in the Port Vila pool could make the semi-finals and, conversely, all four teams could miss out on the play-offs…depending on which teams win, lose or draw.
After two matches, Tahiti’s AS Pirae head the table on four points – with a win and a draw, plus a healthy plus three goal difference – and only need a draw to make the final four. A loss, however, could mean they tumble out of contention altogether.
Papua New Guinea’s Hekari United are second on the points ladder with three points and a plus one goal difference. If they beat AS Pirae at midday today they will go to six points and still be in the competition during finals week. A loss will send them packing. A draw could be enough to save them depending on the result of the second game and the eventual goal differentials.
Tiga Sport from New Caledonia also have three points but an inferior goal difference of minus two. A win would send them into the semi-finals and a draw would be enough if AS Pirae were to beat Hekari United. A loss would spell doom as at least two of the teams would have more points.
Local hope Ifira Black Bird sit on the bottom of the table with one point and will definitely be out if they lose or can only manage a draw. But, there is hope. They will stay alive at home if they win and go to four points…and Hekari lose.
If Hekari win Ifira could still go through if they were to beat Tiga Sport comprehensively. That way they may pip AS Pirae for second place on goal difference. That, however, is a big ‘if’.
Given the home side plays the later game today – at 3.00pm – they will at least know the potential permutations and how many goals they would need to make up. For instance, if AS Pirae were to lose by two, Ifira would need to win by four to go ahead on goal difference.
Thinking about the potential outcomes is enough to make a fan’s head ache.
Best to sit back and simply enjoy another fascinating day’s action in front of a partisan and passionate Port Vila crowd…and let the results take care of themselves.