Bangabandhu Gold Cup

Palestine face Burundi in final today

Sports Correspondent

25 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Palestine face Burundi in final today

Palestine skipper Sami Marabith, left, and Burundi captain Tambwe Amissi, right, are seen during the trophy unveiling ceremony of Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the BFF premises on Friday. Palestine head coach Daboub Makram, second left, and Burundi head coach Joslin Bipfecbusa are also seen. — BFF Photo

The reigning champions Palestine will play against Burundi in the final of the ongoing Bangabandhu Gold Cup Football Tournament today.

The West Asian team Palestine are eyeing to defend their title while the East African side Burundi who want to clinch their first ever title of the international tournament. 

The match will kick-off at 04:00pm at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be the chief guest in the final match and prize giving ceremony.

Both finalists, Palestine and Burundi, maintained all-win record in the meet. But Palestine scored 5 goals as well as kept a clean sheet in last three matches conceding no goal while Burundi scored 10 and conceded just 2 goals. 

Holders Palestine reached the final after a hard-fought 1-0 goal win over lowly Seychelles in the first semifinal while their opponents Burundi confirmed their spot for the final beating hosts Bangladesh by 3-0 goals 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.  

Palestine are 106th in the FIFA rankings while Burundi are 151th.

Ahead of the final, a pre-match press conference and trophy unveiling ceremony was held at Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) House in the capital 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 retain the title to honour our people (Palestinian),” Makram said.

“We know that Burundi have a good attacking side, but we are good in defense. We will try to keep a clean sheet. We have good defenders. We have got clean sheet in the last three matches of the tournament and we will also try to get it in 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 BFF, Burundi Head Coach Joslin Bipfubusa said, “We came here with a dream to land a spot in the final, and we have fulfilled our first dream. Now we have just one more game to go to fulfill our second dream that of clinching 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.”

While being asked about the differences between Asian and African football styles, 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 the dream of playing in the final. Now we are eyeing the dream to claim the title.”

Bangabandhu International Gold Cup Football, is one of the prestigious soccer meets organised by BFF from 1996. The federation pays tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman through the tournament.