Kathmandu, 29 Oct 2009 - Nepal suffered a 2-1 defeat against Tajikistan on Thursday in the ongoing AFC U-19 Championship group ´A´ qualifiers held at the Dasharath Stadium.
With two matches remaining, Nepal now only has a slim chance of qualifying for the final round. From the three matches played Nepal has accumulated three points to stay in the fourth position, while Tajikistan with its cent percent record is on the top of the table.
Nepal making a good start came up with short and low passes to take control of the first half of the match. The hosts took an early lead in the match in the 11th minute through Nirajan Malla. Malla headed from near the post in the corner kick of Rohit Chand.
However, Nepal failed to continue with the lead as the equalizer came just one minute before half time through penalty kick. The Tajiks were awarded with the penalty after defender and skipper Deepak Bhusal took down Davronov Nuriddin in the box. Nuriddin did not make any mistake to send the ball past the Nepali custodian to level the match.
The second-half of the match was competitive and Nepal could not continue with their tune. Nepal made a lot of mis-passes and errors in comparison to the first-half. Tajikistan scored the winning goal from a simple free kick from about 35 yards by Abdulloev Sheroz as Nepali custodian Dinesh Thapa Magar made a blunder to shock the home fans. Magar came in front to take the ball, but the ball bounced back and took the direction toward the post in slow motion.
Earlier, in the fifth minute Malla´s powerful strike from the box off Jagjeet Shrestha´s corner kick went above the bar. In the 72nd minute, Nirajan failed to give the final touch to a spectacular pass off Bhusal. The Tajiks too missed about half a dozen chances of scoring in the match.
Nepali team captain Bhusal was sent off the ground in stoppage time after he was slapped with second yellow card in the match.
“I am satisfied with the team´s performance and the Tajiks are a very good team,” commented Nepal coach Raju Shakya. “Four of my players played despite injury and the second goal we conceded was due to the blunder of the custodian,” he said.
Tajikistan coach Gafurov Salukhidini said that the match was interesting and it was very tough for them. “It was a really tough match against the hosts and Nepal played very well,” he said.
Earlier, in the first match at the same venue Palestine came from behind twice to play a 2-2 draw against the technically strong Yemen team to open their account in the points table. Asaad Ali and Aiman Al-Hagri scored one each for Yemen in the 31st and 79th minutes respectively. Ali netted inside the box capitalizing a pass off Al-Hubaishi and Al-Hagri scored in between two opponents from the box utilizing a pass from Al-Hubaishi.
Both the goals for Palestine came in the second half. Utilizing a free kick pass from near the center line, substitute T Nababta scored from inside the box after beating a defender and custodian Mohammed Waleed. Similarly, Nababta netted the second equalizer in the last minute of stoppage time utilizing a ball that rebounded off custodian Waleed´s hand.
Yemen coach Sami Hasan said that it was a blow for the Yemen team and the Palestine team played with enthusiasm. “However, we still have chance to enter into the next round,” he said. Palestine´s French coach Moussa Bezaz, satisfied with the team´s performance, said that his team performed well. “The players exhibited good performance, especially in the second half. We had fitness problem against Jordan and Tajikistan,” he said.
In the match played at the Halchowk Ground, pointless Kyrgyzstan suffered a 2-1 blow from Jordan. Mustafa Saleh and Suhib Wihaybi scored one each for Jordan in the sixth and 45th minutes respectively, while Talaibek Baktai scored a consolation goal for Kyrgyzstan in the 17th minute.
Jordan and Yemen with seven and five points are in second and third spots respectively. Palestine opened their account with one point to climb into the second last spot and Kyrgyzstan at the bottom with no points in the six-team contest.