Anjan Bista scored twice as Nepal defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in their Asian Qualifiers Group B tie at the Taipei Municipal Stadium on Tuesday.
The win gave Nepal the opening three points of their bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 while Chinese Taipei are without a point after two matchdays.
Both teams came into the tie on the back of having suffered opening day defeats - Chinese Taipei were edged 2-1 by Jordan while Nepal suffered a resounding 7-0 loss against Kuwait.
Head coach Johan Kalin had challenged his players to produce a positive response to the heavy defeat and Nepal did just that as 21-year-old striker Bista gave the South Asians the lead in the fourth minute.
A stung Chinese Taipei, who had impressed against Jordan despite suffering defeat, upped the tempo of their game and pressed forward in search of the equaliser.
Nepal, however, defended stoutly to take their lead into the half-time break.
The home team were quickly off the blocks in the second half and dominated possession but the equaliser continued to elude them as Nepal's defence held firm.
As the minutes ticked away, Chinese Taipei pressed forward even more, leaving gaps behind, and Bista struck Nepal's second in the 62nd minute to edge them closer to the three points.
Chinese Taipei threw players forward in a desperate attempt to salvage the tie but it was to no avail as Nepal walked away with the points.
Up next for Nepal are Australia away on October 10 while Chinese Taipei will look to get points on the board against the Socceroos five days later.
Photo Courtesy: Chinese Taipei Football Association
Nepal defeated Tajikistan 1-0 in the ongoing Nadehda Cup 2019 to enter the finals of the tournament.
Nepal were clearly the better side as the team created chances but failed to break Tajik’s defense.
Sabitra Bhandari scored a header goal for Nepal in the 89th minute to give Nepal a lead.
Nepal will now face Uzbekistan in the finals of the tournament on September 12, 2019.
Nepal are taking this tournament as part of the preparations for the South Asian Games (SAG) that is happening this year in Nepal.
The final 23- player Nepal U16 squad to play in the upcoming AFC U16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers has been announced.
Nepal will begin its U16 Championship campaign on September 14 when it takes hosts Jordan.
Nepal will play its second match against Kuwait on September 16, against Tajikistan on September 20 and against Sri Lanka on September 22.
Three players- goalkeeper Ishwor Gurung, midfielder Pradip Lamsal and Ashim Rai- are exclusions from the squad that travelled India for the SAFF U15 Championship weeks ago.
Head coach Sunil Shrestha have included Patthunghang Nembang, Crystal Shakya and Dipesh Rai in the team.
“The squad has been through extensive trainings and competition opportunity (SAFF U15 Championship). The boys had exposure in India and we are looking forward to the challenge of taking of best in the Qualifiers,’ said head coach Shrestha in the after announcing the squad.
Goalkeepers: Manoj Dahal, Jineyas KC, Patthunghang Nembang
Defenders: Ajay Chaudhary, Abishek Waiba, Jan Limbu, Roshan Thapa, Pragyan Maharjan, Pramish Gurung, Aamir Hamid
Midfielders: Nitesh Shrestha, Crystal Shakya, Janme Jay Dhami, Bipin Tumsing Magar, Mohit Gurung, Nirajan Malla, Anil Chaulagain, Nirajan Khatri
Forwards: Sashank Bohora, Sugam Jimee, Krishna Adhikari Yadav, Krish Sapkota, Dipesh Rai
Kuwait scored an emphatic 7-0 victory over Nepal in their opening match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers at Kuwait Sports Club Stadium on Thursday.
The hosts needed less than six minutes to take the lead. Abdullah Al Mutairi advanced down the right and squared for Yousef Naser who buried the ball into the roof of the net.
Fahad Al Hajeri doubled Kuwait’s advantage 12 minutes in. The centre-back rose highest at the far post to head Faisal Al Harbi’s in-swinging corner just over the line, making it 2-0.
Al Mutairi and Naser combined again four minutes after the restart to compound Nepal’s struggles. Again, it was the winger who delivered the cross from the right and Naser guided his free header into the back of the net for his second of the night and his side’s third.
Kuwait’s right wing continued to be their most prominent source of danger and Al Mutairi this time turned from provider to scorer. The number eight latched onto a long pass, outpaced his marker and coolly lobbed the goalkeeper, adding a fourth Kuwaiti goal just before the hour mark.
The home side piled the pressure and veteran Bader Al Mutawa added his name to the scoresheet. The Kuwait captain pounced on a loose ball after the Nepali defence failed to clear a free-kick and placed it into the bottom corner for Kuwait’s fifth in the 68th minute.
Nepal came agonisingly close to getting a consolation goal in added time when substitute Abhishek Rijal caught the Kuwaiti defence napping and struck from close range, but his effort grazed the outside of the post.
Instead it was a substitute from the other side, Redha Abujabarah, who found the back of the net. The number 14 received Al Mutawa’s pass down the right and went on a solo run before firing from a narrow angle.
Fellow substitute Hussain Al Mosawi rounded off the scoring seconds before the final whistle, tapping in Abujabarah’s cross to make it 7-0 at the death.
The victory puts Kuwait at the top of Group B, ahead of Jordan who had earlier beaten Chinese Taipei 2-1. The Blues host Australia on Tuesday, while Nepal travel to Taipei in pursuit of a first win on Matchday Two.
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