The reigning champions Palestine will play against Burundi in the final of the ongoing six-team Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football Tournament on Saturday.
The match will kick-off at 4 pm in the country’s premier sports venue -- Bangabandhu National Stadium here.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the chief guest in the final match and the prize giving ceremony.
The West Asian team Palestine are eyeing to defend their title while the East African side Burundi want to clinch their first ever title of the Asian region.
Both finalists -- Palestine and Burundi -- maintained their all-win records in the meet. But Palestine scored 5 goals as well as kept the clean sheet in last three matches conceding no goal while Burundi scored 10 and conceded just 2 goals.
Holders Palestine reached in the final after a hard-fought 1-0 win over lowly Seychelles in the first semifinal while their opponents Burundi confirmed their spot for the final beating hosts Bangladesh by 3-0 goal in the second semifinal.
Palestine beat both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by the same 2-0 goals margin in the Group A games while Burundi crushed Mauritius by 4-1 goals and Seychelles by 3-1 goals in Group B matches.
Ahead of the final, a pre-match press conference and trophy unveiling ceremony was held at the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) house in Motijheel here on Friday.Palestine Head Coach Makram Daboub said in the press conference that they are eyeing to defend their Bangabandhu Gold Cup title.
“The final match will be difficult, but we are ready for the match. Easy to reach in the top slot, but it is more difficult to stay there. We came here to defend our title. We will be champions for our Palestinian people,” Makram said.
“We know that Burundi have a good attacking side, but we are good in the defense. We will try to keep the clean sheet. We have good defenders. We have got the clean sheets in the last three matches of the tournament and we will also try to get it in the final,” Makram added.
About their preparation, the Palestine Head Coach said, “All of our players are fit, no injury in the squad. We are confident about our players. We are just focusing on our game.”
Palestine key player Musab Abu Salem said, “As you know we were the champions of the last edition of the tournament. We want to be champions again.”
Thanking Bangladesh and the BFF, Burundi Head Coach Joslin Bipfubusa said, “We came here with a dream of the final, and we have fulfilled our first dream. Now we have just one more game to fulfill our anther dream of the title. The best performers of the final match will be the champions.”
About the plan, Joslin said, “Burundi scored so many goals but Palestine haven’t conceded any goal yet. We will not use the same technique against Palestine in the final.”
When asked about the differences between Asian and African football, the head coach replied, “There are some differences in Asian football and African football. The Asian football is tactical but African football is physical.”
Burundi Captain Tambwe Amissi said, “We have already fulfilled our one dream of final. Now we are eyeing on another dream of title.”
Meanwhile, Palestine are 106th in the FIFA rankings while Burundi are 151th.
The Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Football, is one the prestigious soccer meets organized by BFF from 1996. The federation is paying tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through the tournament.