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In­dia will end at third as they have de­feated the 'War Ele­phants' 4-1 in their open­ing match. But the Stephen Con­stan­tine side can­not lose to Bahrain -- to whom In­dia lost 2-5 in the 2011 Asian Cup -- by a big mar­gin as goal dif­fer­ence will get the first pref­er­ence while de­cid­ing which team makes it to the Round of 16 among third place sides of equal points.

In Groups C and D, two bot­tom-placed teams have not yet opened their ac­counts af­ter play­ing two matches each and they have mi­nus goal dif­fer­ence as against In­dia’s plus one. Cour­tesy, the stun­ning win against Thai­land has shown that In­dia are no longer an ‘also ran’ side and the sec­ond match against the UAE — though lost 0-2 — strength­ened the thought that this side can hold onto their own with­out fear and take the game to the op­po­si­tion, un­like the teams of the past.

Luck also eluded In­dia in the match against UAE as the wood­work de­nied them on two oc­ca­sions while Ashique Ku­runiyan and Ch­hetri had the goal­keeper at their mercy but failed to beat him.

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