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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Favorite… for last place – This way we avoid humiliation

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Favorite… for last place - This way we avoid humiliation

With the away games against Russia (11/11) and Slovenia (14/11) Cyprus completes its obligations in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. And yes, once again we did not manage to go one step further, but we did not we lack motivation in the final as, on the contrary, we fight to avoid the last place of the group.

The fact that we are competing against Malta is in itself humiliating for our national team, but we hope that we will succeed in the last one to escape the even bigger resilience. The data, however, are not in our favor, as the score and the program, make us… favorite to finish in last place, for only the second time in our history in a six-member group (ie in 11 cases), after 2014.

In view of the last two turns of the group, Cyprus is equal to Malta in five points, but lags behind in the goal ratio, which is the first criterion taken into account in the draws. Specifically, our national team is at -10 (3-13) and the Maltese at -9 (8-17).

The worst thing for Cyprus is that it has two away missions, with the first match being against Russia, which has a strong motivation, as it needs the victory to seal the first place and the direct qualification to the World Cup and not to go to the last match. in the “final” in Croatia (lurks at -2). At the same time, Malta has both matches at home, against Croatia and Slovakia.

The first scenario that favors Cyprus is of course to get more points in these two games than Malta will get, but based on what we saw from our national team, we can not have much hope for an away result, still and with indifferent Slovenia.

So, given that we will not make any surprises, we only hope that in the scenario Malta will also make two defeats and at the same time cover the goal difference.

To do this we will need our defeats to come with a total of two goals less than those of Malta, as in case we cover only one goal difference, we will have the same rate and the best attack will count, where we are behind (by five goals) and this data can not be changed.

5. Malta 5 (8-17)
6. Cyprus 5 (3-13)

Thursday 11/11
19:00 Russia-Cyprus
21:45 Malta-Croatia

Sunday 14/11
16:00 Slovenia-Cyprus
16:00 Malta-Slovakia

Source: gipedo.politis.com.cy

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