Nepal meet leaders Tajikistan

Kathmandu, 28 Oct 2009 - Nepal will take on leaders Tajikistan on Thursday in the second match of the group ´A´ qualifiers of the AFC U-19 Championship to be held at the Dasharath Stadium.

The match will be crucial for both the teams.

The home team with one win and a loss needs to win the match to keep their hope afloat to advance into the next round. While Tajikistan who have won both the matches played to maintain their winning streak deserve victory against the home team.

Nepal are in the fourth spot with three points behind Tajikistan with six points and Yemen and Jordan four points apiece. If Nepal lose the next match against Tajikistan then the chances of qualifying will merely remain a mathematical possibility.

However, Nepali team has signaled to bounce back in the match. Nepal ended the long drought of goal in their last match with a 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday. The team is also eager to wipe out the image made by the U-16 team in the U-16 qualifiers held a month ago at the Dasharath Stadium. Unlike the U-16 squad which was unable to score a single goal in the entire tournament the team is also under pressure to save the face and win the hearts of fans.

On the other hand, history shows Tajikistan have always remained lucky in Nepali ground. Tajikistan qualified for the final round of U-16 as the runners-up on the basis of goal difference. In this tournament too, Tajiks have not conceded any goals. Besides this, they will also have the physical advantage over the physically shorter and weaker host team.

The home team will be having the home ground and home supporters advantage.

“We will try to display good footballing and our aim will be to win,” said Nepal coach Raju Shakya.

Some of the crucial players of home squad are injured, he said. “Striker Nirajan Malla, skipper and defender Deepak Bhusal and Rohit Chand and midfielder Ganesh Khadka have gone to visit the doctor for checkup, and Khadka among them is most likely to miss the game,” he said on Wednesday evening.

Tajikistan coach Gafurov Salokhidin is confident of winning against Nepal as his team has been preparing since the last two years. He, however, said, “All teams are prepared, so it won´t be easy for us.”

Salokhidin sees Jordan and Yemen as strong opponents but is not much worried about the rest of the teams. “Only Jordan and Yemen could give us tough challenge,” he said.

In the first match of the day, Palestine will play against Yemen in the Dasharath Stadium and Kyrgyzstan will take on Jordan in the Halchowk ground.

Thursday´s matches

Dasharath Stadium
Tajikistan Vs Nepal 14:30
Yemen Vs Palestine 12:00

Halchowk Ground
Kyrgyzstan Vs Jordan 14:00

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