Tajikistan will fight North Korea in the final of the 2019 Intercontinental Cup football tournament on Friday.
Surprisingly, the two lowest-ranked teams of the tournament (Tajikistan 120 and North Korea 122) have made it to the finals with 6 points each from the 3 matches apiece. Meanwhile, India (ranked 101) and Syria (ranked 85) failed miserably to dominate the event. Syria even managed to win one encounter with but the defending champions India failed to win a single match in the tournament.
Talking about the finalists, North Korea will have a slight advantage as they beat Tajikistan 1-0 in the league stages. But North Korea coach Yun Jong Su said the solitary goal victory will not have any bearing on Friday’s all-important clash.
“We won the previous match. But this match starts afresh. We will do our best, and try to show to all what we are capable of,” Jong Su said.
Tajikistan coach Usmon Toshev, meanwhile, is in no mood to take the final as a revenge match for his side.
“A final is a different ball game. We learnt our lessons when we last played them. We aim not to repeat them in the final,” Toshev said, adding, “We had a great time here and played three good matches. Another match awaits. But a final is a final, and a different match altogether. It’s a prestige match, and we hope we can achieve glory.”
The champions will get richer by USD 50000, while the runners-up will receive USD 25000. The Hero of the Tournament will pocket USD 7500.
The match starts at 8 pm IST.
(With inputs from PTI)