Kathmandu, 11 Oct 2009 - Nepal's hope to qualify for AFC U-16 Cup from Group 'B' has all but ended after a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Bahrain, while Iran strengthened their chances of making it to the next round with a 4-0 win over Lebanon at the Dashrath Stadium on Sunday.
Today's defeat left the host nation rooted at the bottom of the table with no points at all. With the win, Iran has leapfrogged to the top of the standings with seven points from three matches, edging Tajikistan, who also have equal points but on goal difference.
Bahrain are still firmly in the race with six points and can make through to the next round if they win over defending champion Iran in their next fixture.
Second-placed Tajikistan will face the host nation in their next outing and can top the Group if they manage an easy victory against Nepal.
Likewise, Lebanon have ended their campaign with just three points following their defeat against Iran today.
Bahrain, which were reduced to ten-man, played with a numerical disadvantage for 33 minutes after Ahmed Hasan Ali Abdulwahab Hasan was sent off on 23 minutes for a double yellow but the game returned to balance when Samir Limbu of Nepal was also sent off for unsporting behaviour 10 minutes after the restart. Limbu received his marching orders for intentionally kicking Sayed Mahdi Baqer Jaffar Mahdi Naser.
Though Bahrain were reduced to 10-man just 23 minutes into the game, they bagged their first goal five minutes after the incident through a penalty. Skipper Mubarak Salem Saad converted the spot kick awarded for a foul on Kadhim Abdulhusain Kadhem Naser by Ganesh Thapa Magar inside the penalty box.
The penalty put Bahrain back in the game, but for Nepal, which had put up a satisfying performance till then compared to their previous outing, the decision put a negative effect on performance as they conceded four easy goals following the penalty.
Kadhim Abdulhusain Kadhem Naser scored two goals inside three minutes with the first one coming in the 38th minute and Sayed Fadhel Abbas Wahab Hasan added another goal three minutes after the interval. Substitute Ayman Addulameer Khalil Espahim sealed the one-sided win for Bahrain in stoppage time.
Earlier, the hapless Nepali side, yet to score in the event, started out aggressively creating two clear opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the game. But both attempts turned futile as Bahrain defenders successfully cleared the ball from the goal line, though the keeper was well beaten in each occasion.
“The penalty decision by the referee affected the performance of our players largely. I think we had been playing pretty well before that. Besides that our players failed to compete with them physically,” said Nepal coach Damber Singh Gurung after the match.
In the earlier match of the day, Aeinechi Amir Abbas scored a hat-trick in Iran's 4-0 win over Lebanon after substitute Mahdipour Mahdi had opened the scoring for Iran two minutes after the restart. Abbas bagged his first in the 55th minute and added the remaining in the 85th and 86th minute to take his goal count to four in the event.
source: The Kathmandu Post/Pic:www.nepalsportsphoto.com