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Perfect campaign for Palestine ahead of Asian Cup

  • Published at 10:56 pm October 12th, 2018
Gold Cup
Palestine players are all smiles after receiving the Bangabandhu Gold Cup champion's trophy from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

It was Palestine’s first silverware in three years and third overall, including the AFC Challenge Cup four years ago and a locally organised tournament the following year

Palestine head coach Noureddine Ould Ali admitted that their 100% winning record in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup provided his side an acid test ahead of their participation in the Asian Cup next year, and helped him know his local-based players better.

It was also Palestine’s first silverware in three years and third overall, including the AFC Challenge Cup four years ago and a locally organised tournament the following year. 

When asked about the standard of the tournament, where all the participants sent their senior teams for the first time, he said, “We have a good level in semi-final (against Bangladesh). It was tactical game against Tajikistan because I think the best teams of the tournament placed in the same group. It was a good tournament, good teams.”

He continued, “I’m happy for my players and the test before the Asian Cup. I took only local players who played in Palestine league. It’s good for them to show me what they can do in the future. I feel good for some players, some can be better.”

Noureddine, who was a happy and relaxed man after winning his first trophy in an international tournament as Palestine coach, also admitted that playing the tournament in three different cities offered the players a good experience.

“I have a good feel for Bangladesh. We visited Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar and Dhaka and we discovered this country. Good people, good country. Different pitches, better pitches. [Good] experience,” he said.

The Palestine coach however, expressed discontent about the short time for the recovery of the players. 

“You can’t evaluate four matches in eight days and only 24 hours for final before the semis. The players were very tired. This game is a game of mental and hard luck for Tajikistan.”

Meanwhile, Palestine kicked off the tournament with a 2-0 win over the same opponent in the final before edging Nepal 1-0 to become group champion in Sylhet. 

They beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the semi-final in Cox’s Bazar Wednesday.