Intercontinental Cup 2019: Fixtures announced, India to face Tajikistan in the opener
by Shubham Sharma
New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced the fixtures of the Intercontinental Cup 2019 which is scheduled to take place at The Arena in Ahmedabad from July 7-19.
The Blue Tigers will take on Tajikistan in the opening clash on July 7.
India's next match will be on July 13 against North Korea, followed by Syria on July 16. The top two teams from the round robin stage will qualify for the final that is scheduled to take place on July 19.
According to the latest FIFA rankings released on April 2019, Syria is ranked 83rd followed by Tajikistan and DPR Korea, who are placed 120 and 121 respectively. India currently occupies 101st position in the rankings.
The Blue Tigers are the competition's defending champions as they lifted the title last year with a victory against Kenya in the final, with Hero of the Tournament Sunil Chhetri scoring twice. The other two teams that competed last year were New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.
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 and followed the result with a 1-0 win against the hosts courtesy of a goal from Anirudh Thapa.
The Hero 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
All the matches will kick off at 8 PM IST.