Team Nepal to face Kyrgyz

Nepal will take on Kyrgyzstan Saturday in the AFC Challenge Cup Group ‘C’ qualifiers at Dasharath Stadium with a hope of defeating the visitors after spirited display against Palestine. The match between Nepal and Kyrgyzstan will be crucial for both teams as it is likely to determine their place for the final round of the AFC Challenge Cup to be held in Hyderabad, India in January, 2010.

The match will be do-or-die for the host. If it loses Saturday’s match against Kyrgyzstan Nepal will crash out of the Challenge Cup race. If it wins it still needs to wait for the result of the match between Palestine and Kyrgyzstan to determine its fate. But if Palestine wins the last match against Kyrgyzstan the goal difference between Nepal and Palestine will decide their places for the final round. If Palestine and Kyrgyzstan finish in a draw Nepal will qualify for the final round as a group winner. Likewise, if Nepal looses to Kyrgyzstan the race will be open for only two teams excluding Nepal. If Nepal plays draw with Kyrgyzstan then also it needs to wait for the last match between Kyrgyzstan and Palestine. In that case, the winner will qualify for the final round.

Nepal, which is in high morale after playing a goalless draw with the physically powerful Palestine Thursday, will have the advantage of home ground and home crowd against Kyrgyzstan. The host will also have the challenge of playing against a physically and technically powerful opponent which is 17 places ahead in FIFA ranking.

If we look back at the history, Nepal’s national squad has encountered the Kyrgyzstan team only once before, in 2003 in the Asian Cup qualifying match held in Kathmandu, which it lost 2-0. “We will come on the ground for a clear win as we must win to qualify for the final round” said Nepali coach Yogembar Suwal. “For the first 10-15 minutes we will look at the opponent’s performance and play accordingly.”

The final list of players for the match is yet to be decided as some of the major players including skipper Rakesh Shrestha and Anjan K.C. are injured. We will conduct the meeting tomorrow after medical reports are in and decide who shall play, said coach Suwal. Shrestha is not likely to play, following his knee injury Thursday. He said the Nepali team will come up with an attacking strategy.

On the other hand, 155th ranked Kyrgyzstan has come up with a straight aim of winning the qualifying tournament as it has already said its clear target is to qualify for the final round.

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