AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers second round: Nepal drawn in Group B

Nepal have been drawn alongside China, Myanmar and Chinese Taipei in the second round of AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers.

The draw was held by the AFC on Thursday. The second round will be played from June 3-11.

Nepal will qualify for the 2024 AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup if they can finish inside the top two of the group. The 2024 AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup will be held in Uzbekistan between 3–16 March 2024.

Nepal had defeated Palestine and Northern Mariana Island by a similar score of 6-0 in the first round in Palestine to qualify for the second round.

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Nepal defeat Laos in Prime Minister Three Nations Cup opener

Goals from Ananta Tamang and a screamer from Nawayug Shrestha helped Nepal to a 2-0 victory over Laos in the Prime Minister Three Nations Cup football tournament.

Played under the lights at Dasharath Stadium, Nepal took the lead through Tamang in the 30th minute. Tamang flicked a corner from Arik Bista into the net for the lead.

Shrestha doubled Nepal's advantage in the 56th minute. He volleyed a screamer from around 35 yards out for Nepal's second.

Nepal's head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese said there were plenty of areas for improvement despite the win. "Its our first win with many new players and there was less time for us to prepare," said Annese. "All my players gave their full effort but there are few areas we need to improve like counter attacking. But so far we have done well and we go forward for the next game," he added.

Annese gave debuts to Sanish Shrestha, Mani Lama, Dipak Raj Singh Thakuri and Sumit Shrestha in the match. Sanish started the match in the right-back position while Lama, Thakuri and Sumit were sent in during the match.

Laos head coach Hans Michael Weiss congratulated Nepal and coach Annese for the win and said he would take positives from the match going forward. "We wanted at least a draw as we had less time to train. We will make few changes in the game against Bhutan and remain positive," he said.

Weiss said Nepal took the chances that fell to them and hoped to meet again in the final. "They were alert and focused more on counter attacking. We could not utilize our chances but this is a performance after few days of training. We want to reach the finals and meet Nepal again," he said.

Player of the match Ananta Tamang pointed on the need for more coordination among players. "We could not play as expected. We have to coordinate well and improve our game," he said. "We scored two goals but that is not going to be enough. We still have Bhutan to play. We have to work out on maintaining ball possession and out attack. Our forward line could not trouble the opposition goalie much," he said.

Laos will now face Bhutan on Saturday at 6 pm. Bhutan will then face Nepal on March 28 followed by the final on March 31.

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Former player Damber Singh Gurung no more

Former Nepali international and coach Damber Singh Gurung has died at the age of 71.

Gurung was rushed to Manipal Teaching Hospital in Pokhara where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. The hospital said Gurung died of heart attack.

Gurung had represented Nepal in matches played in Thailand in 1974 and in New Delhi in 1982. He also coached U-14 and U-16 levels and was coach of A Division outfits Tribhuvan Army Football Club and APF Football Club.

He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.

Photo: Family source

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Nepal register comfortable victory over Bhutan

Nepal defeated Bhutan 5-0 to register their first win of the SAFF U-17 Women's Championship in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Braces from Barsha Oli and Senu Pariyar and another one from Dipa Rokaya helped Nepal to the romping win. Oli scored the team's first in the 16th minute which was doubled by Rokaya in the 30th minute. Pariyar scored in the 34th to make it 3-0 until half-time.

Oli added her second in the 50th and Pariyar made it 5-0 in the 58th minute.

Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Russia are taking part in the tournament in Bangladesh.

Nepal had lost to India in the opening match and face Russia next on Sunday.

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