Intercontinental Cup 2019: DPR Korea End Tajikistan's Unbeaten Run, India's Faint Hopes Crushed
Intercontinental Cup 2019: As DPR Korea beat Tajikistan 1-0 in their last group stage match, India were automatically knocked out of contention for the final.
DPR Korea beat Tajikistan to keep their hopes of reaching Intercontinental Cup final alive. (Photo Credit: @IndianFootball)
Ahmedabad: DPR Korea defeated Tajikistan 1-0 in the group stage match of the Hero Intercontinental Cup at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad on Monday and with that, Tajikistan's unbeaten run in the tournament came to an end.
Ri Jin's 33rd minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides in a match largely contested in the midfield with both teams engaging in end to end action.
DPR Korea started the match in an attacking stance and initiated attack in the 1st minute itself but their chances was cleared by the Tajik defence line. In the 33rd minute, Ri Jin latches onto a low cross from the right flank and his first time shot went into the back of the net to give DPR Korea the lead.
At the half-way point, DPR Korea lead by a solitary goal to nil. Changing over, in the second half, Tajikistan tried to minimize their deficit, but DPR Korea tested their custodian with good chances, although failed to make the most of them.
Tajikistan dominated possession but failed to equalize their deficit despite giving DPR Korea a scare in the dying embers of the match as the full-time scoreline read 1-0 in DPR Korea's favour.
Courtesy of the result, the exit bells rang for India as the Blue Tigers have been knocked out of the Hero Intercontinental Cup with both Tajikistan and DPR Korea finishing the group stage with 6 points each. Syria having 3 with a match in hand against India on Tuesday.
Despite the loss, Tajikistan booked a berth in the final as they have six points and a goal difference of plus three, ahead of North Korea, who have same six points but with a goal difference of plus one.
The North Koreans will be hoping India to beat Syria on Tuesday or ar least draw the match, as in that case, they will make it to the final. If Syria beat India, the West Asian side will also have six points and a better goal difference than North Korea, and hence will qualify for the final.
Syria have three points and a goal difference of plus one and they just need a simple win against India on Tuesday to qualify for the final.
The top two teams will qualify for the final of the four-team tournament. If two or more teams end at same point, the ranking will be decided through goal difference.
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