Bangabandhu Gold Cup
Palestine eyeing third int'l trophy
Tajiks hope Bangladesh land may bring good luck
Two debutant teams, Palestine and Tajikistan are engaging in the exciting final match of the fifth edition of Bangabandhu Gold Cup today (Friday) at 5:30pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
The national booters of the sovereign state of Palestine are willing to add the third international trophy in their showcase winning the final of the prestigious football tournament.
On the other hand, the boys of Central Asian country Tajikistan who already lost a group match against Palestine rivals by 2-0 margin on October 4 in Sylhet are also hopeful to win the match recalling that they became champions of the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup at the same Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Before taking on the opponents, Palestine coach Noureddine Ould Ali says on Thursday that due to flight delay for bad weather, his players only arrived in Dhaka from Cox's Bazar in the evening and he and a key player Taimer Salah came to attend the press briefing while the others went to the team hotel.
The 46-year Algerian France national says, "The Tajiks came here before us and it was an advantage for them. My boys only arrived here. But we want to focus on the game now."
He agreed that the final will be a tough match for them and the Tajik are a strong team.
The coach says that they want to make the Palestine people happy winning the trophy.
"We have two international trophies in our collection. First is 2012 Al Nakba Cup (Also known as the 2012 Palestine International Cup) and the second one is 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. Now we want to win the third international trophy," says the UEFA Pro Licensed coach.
A former Tajikistan national booter and current coach of the team Alisher Tukhtaev says, "Winning the AFC Challenge Cup trophy in 2006 in Dhaka is a history now. But we believe Bangladesh land may bring good luck to us. We want to win the match tomorrow (Friday)."
In response to a question whether he thinks the opponents are weaker or strong, he says, "There is no weak team in the final. We will respect our opponents. Yet we have lost a group match to them, we want to make it different and try our best. The final will be like a final."
The Tajik coach reveals that there is an injury problem in the team. One of his boys got injured in a head collision during the Palestine match in the group stage. Besides, one is suffering from stomach upset.