15 March 2012

Mahmoud : No fear of defending champions

Kathmandu: A meeting with defending champions DPR Korea holds no fear for confident Palestine coach Jamal Mahmoud as the first-time semi-finalists look to end the East Asians' perfect record on Friday.

DPR Korea are the overwhelming favourites for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup title and they have advanced through the tournament with ruthless efficiency, scoring eight times and conceding none to comfortably book their place in the final four.

But these statistics mean little for Mahmoud (pictured), who has set his sights on nothing less than a victory for the history-making Palestinians.

"We must show great respect to DPR Korea as they have played at the last World Cup," said the Jordanian, who will be without suspended midfielder Husam Wadi.

"We know how they play and we know it will be a tough match but we are here to win this championship.

"We have watched their games and we have our strategy and we are confident that we will win."

DPR Korea head coach Yun Jong-su has also been doing his homework and in keeping with the ruthless efficiency that has seen the Chollima easily defeat the Philippines (2-0), Tajikistan (2-0) and India (4-0), he succinctly summed up his thoughts on Friday's semi-final at the pre-match press conference.

"We have seen the matches of Palestine and have analysed their tactics and will implement our strategy accordingly."


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