All India Football Federation(AIFF) on Monday announced the schedule for the Intercontinental Cup 2019, beginning July 7. In the opening match of the tournament, Blue Tigers will face Tajikistan at EKA Arena in Ahmedabad. In the next match, India will play against DPR Korea on July 13, followed by Syria on July 16. The top two teams from the round robin stage will qualify for the final, that is scheduled to be played on July 18. In the latest FIFA rankings released in April this year, Syria ranked 83rd followed by Tajikistan and DPR Korea, which are placed 120 and 121 respectively. Currently, India holds the 101st position in the rankings.
The Blue Tigers are the defending champions of the tournament as they lifted the title last year with a victory against Kenya in the final. In the final, ‘Player of the Tournament’ Sunil Chhetri had scored two goals.
The Indian side, under new head coach Igor Stimac, shall be heading into the tournament on the back of a promising show in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand, where they went down 3-1 to Curacao in their first match and came back strong with a 1-0 win against the hosts Thailand.
The Intercontinental Cup 2019 fixtures are as follows:
July 7: India vs Tajikistan
July 8: Syria vs DPR Korea
July 10: Tajikistan vs Syria
July 13: India vs DPR Korea
July 15: DPR Korea vs Tajikistan
July 16: India vs Syria
July 19: Final
Defending champion India will start their campaign against Tajikistan on July 7 and the winner of the tournament will be decided on July 19.