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India to take on Tajikistan in Hero Intercontinental Cup opener



India’s highest capped player Sunil Chhetri (108) greets the spectators (PTI)

The Indian football team, under new head coach Igor Stimac, will take on Tajikistan in the opening clash of the Hero Intercontinental Cup scheduled to be held in Ahmedabad from July 7 to 18. After facing Tajikistan on July 5, India will meet North Korea on July 13, followed by their match against Syria on July 16.

The top two teams from the round robin stage will qualify for the final that is scheduled on July 18.

According to the latest FIFA rankings released in April, Syria are ranked 83rd followed by Tajikistan and North Korea, who are placed 120 and 121 respectively.

India currently occupies 101st position in the rankings. The Blue Tigers are the defending champions as they lifted the title last year with a victory against Kenya in the final. The other two teams that competed last year were New Zealand and Chinese Taipei.

India had beaten hosts Thailand 1-0 to hand Stimac his first win in the King’s Cup tournament last Saturday.

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 18: Final