The next tie of the Hero Intercontinental Cup is between- hosts India (ranked 101) and DPR Korea (ranked 122) at the Transtadia Arena, Ahmedabad on 13th July, Saturday. Both the teams were leading at the beginning of their respective games and ended up losing all possible points, India losing 2-4 to Tajikistan and Korea losing 2-5 to Syria. Both the teams will be bringing in changes in their squad to solidify their performances in the current tournament.
TalkSports 24×7 analyses the performances of the two teams and selects the top 5 players who viewers should watch out during the encounter:
1) Sunil Chhetri:
The most important man for India on and off the pitch is Sunil Chhetri. The 34-year-old striker showed sheer class scoring twice against Tajikistan in the first half. He will have to lead his team from the front once more. Having 70 goals from 109 international games, Chhetri is ahead of Argentine talisman Lionel Messi, who has 68 goals from 136 games. The Indian Legend would look forward to increase his goal tally against DPR Korea and take India to a better position in the current Hero Intercontinental Cup.
2) Sahal Abdul Samad:
The 22-year-old sensation is one of the main men to watch out for in this encounter. His clinical performance in the midfield will be crucial to India’s gameplay. With Chhetri up front, Sahal will have the responsibility to play from the deep. His capability of ball distribution and controlling the flow of the game is his main advantage. If allowed extra space in the midfield, Sahal will look forward to exploit the opponent back line.
3) Jong Il-Gwan:
The away team’s most experienced player, Jong Il-Gwan has 63 caps to his name where he netted 21 times. The 26-year-old striker operated from the left flank against Syria and opened the scoring as early as three minutes into the game. He will be a man to watch out in DPR Korea’s encounter with India.
4) Jang Kuk-Chol:
The 25-year-old centre back will play an important role in DPR Korea’s result against India. He will have the responsibility of leading his nation’s back line and will be sending in long balls to the flanks distributing from below. The 6ft tall man has his strength in air and in man marking. He will look forward to stop Chhetri and help his team in the attack as well.
5) Adil Khan:
The 30-year-old defender has all the experience a captain would want his center back to have. Over the years, Adil has represented heavyweights such as Sporting Clube de Goa, Mohun Bagan AC, Delhi Dynamos FC, Churchill Brothers FC Goa and FC Pune City. His main strength is his ‘Never Give Up’ attitude to the beautiful game and his versatility. He has played as a side back and a defensive midfielder as well. Being a central defender he loves to go up and help his team in the attack, resulting to an assist to Thapa against Thailand in the 3rd/4th Place decider match in the King’s Cup 2019. Adil will look to win this game and increase the probability to qualify for the final.
The game kicks off at 20:00 Hrs (IST) on Saturday, 13th July, 2019. If India looks into the individual mistakes that cost them the match against Tajikistan, they will be able to handle their Korean opponent with a much lesser pressure.