U-19 football team promises to put up good show

Kathmandu, 24 Oct 2009 - Nepal´s U-19 football team have pledged to cover the loss incurred by the U-16 team during the AFC qualifiers earlier this month.

The AFC U-19 Championship Group A qualifiers is scheduled to begin on Sunday at the Dasharath Stadium and Armed Police Force Headquarters, Halchowk and end on November 4. Nepal is set to face Yemen at the Dasharath Stadium on Sunday.

“We won´t play a game to disappoint you,” coach Raju Shakya promised on the eve of Nepal´s first match against Yemen. Shakya has stressed on the technical aspects, especially in scoring tactics in order to win.

“We have players who scored during the U-16 tournament in Iran two years ago,” he added. “We scored and lost by small margins,” Shakya added. Captain Nirajan Malla scored goals against Yemen and Jordan in the event.

Nepal´s strength is team work. “The team has five years´ experience of playing in different age groups and the players know each other well,” said Shakya.

During practice and training sessions, the team have performed well in the matches against teams of Nepal Army and Nepal Police Club.

Last year, the team reached the final of an event in Tahahun and lost to Army Club in the final in penalty shoot-out.

Coach Shakya is wary of the fact that destiny is not in our hands but promised that the team will try its best to qualify for the second round. “Victory or defeat happens in game but we will play well and not let you down,” said Shakya.

Players were also upbeat. “We have to show good results to cover the loss of the U-16 team,” defender Deepak Bhusal said.

Unlike the U-16 team, the U-19 team comprises of experienced players like Deepak, Rohit Chand, Nirajan and Ganesh Khadka. Deepak and Rohit have experiences of playing in the national team.

The star striker Nirajan is recovering from a foot injury and may miss the first match. There is 90% chance for Malla to appear in the first match, according to Shakya.

“But the final decision will be made on Sunday morning,” Shakya said. “I don´t want to gamble and risk Nirajan from being injured again.”

Yemen´s head coach Sami Naash said on Saturday that he is satisfied with his team´s performance. “We have no difficulty and the climate is also favorable,” he said. Naash complained about the quality of the field which might affect their performance.

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