The holders could get one step closer to defending their title if they can manage to pass the semi-finals hurdle against Jamal Mahmoud's unit...
DPR Korea have been one of the most fiery sides in the group stage and have done impeccably well in living up to their tag of defending champions handing a 4-0 drubbing of 2008 winners India and garnering 2-0 wins over Philippines and Tajikistan each in Group B.
The Chollima's front force has the likes of Nam-Chol I Pak and Kuk-Chol Jang while their rivals are no short of goal poachers boasting of an array of attacking players such as Ashraf Alfawaghra, Hussam Wadi and Ala'a Atya.
Palestine confirmed their presence in the final four only after beating Maldives in their final match in Group A, after winning against Nepal and managing a draw against eventual group leaders Turkmenistan.
A conventional full-strength squad is expected to be at the disposal of both the coaches for the semi-finals face-off between the tournament's highest ranked nation DPR Korea (111) against Palestine (160), who were one of the underdogs in the competition.
What's interesting is that neither of the teams have conceded a single goal in this edition of the Challenge Cup and to progress into the finals, one of them has to breached.
|| DID YOU KNOW?
- DPR Korea were the surprise package of their World Cup debut in 1966 when they beat Italy to reach the quarter-finals.
- DPR Korea have thrice been successful in qualifying for the Asian Cup - finishing fourth in 1980, besides falling out in the group stage in 1992 and in 2011, while they were banned from the tournament in 2007.
- The Palestine national football team are also known by nicknames Al-Fursan (The Knights) or Al-Fida'i (The Fighters).
- The movie, Goal Dreams - the story of which was featured by BBC in Frontline Football, depicts the struggle of the Palestine football team during their 2006 World Cup qualification campaign.