Gurung had earlier tried his luck at England, where he had appeared in trials for the Woking Club.
Saurav Rai of Kalingpong, who is currently based in Kolkata, helped Gurung sign the contract with SLFC after a 15-day trial period.
SLFC signed Gurung up after his good showing at the Governor's Gold Cup in Sikkim, where he had represented Nabil Three Star team of Nepal. Back then, Rai had contacted All Nepal Football Association spokesperson Lalit Krishna Shrestha, who is also the president of Three Star Club, about the ongoing negotiations on Gurung.
In his first year, Gurung, a Pokhara native, will earn Rs. 1.3 million, which will be hiked to Rs. 2 million and Rs. 3 million in the second and third year respectively. SLFC climbed to the ‘A’ division only this year and are currently seventh in the table with 14 Indian clubs.
In the current season, SLFC have won two matches while losing three. Gurung, a product of Sahara Academy of Pokhara, started playing professional football in 2061 BS. He has played for Brigade Boys, MMC, Three Star and NRT Club.
Interim coach Shahidur Rahman Shantoo picked up the team from the 26-member side as Mustaq, Alamgir, Rezaul Karim Reza, Manik and Chambin Rakhain failed to get their places in the final list.
Bangladesh have been drafted in Group B along with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bhutan while Group B comprises Maldives, India, Afghanistan and Nepal.
Bangladesh will play their first match against Bhutan on December 4. They play their second group match against Pakistan on December 6 and take on Sri Lanka on December 8.
The final is scheduled for December 13.
Aminul Haque (captain), Biplob Bhattacharya, Mazharul Islam Himel (goalkeepers), Nasir Hossain, Mahiuddin Ibnul Siraji, Ariful Islam Arif, Rajani Kanta Barman, Mamun Miah, Wali Faisal, Atiqur Rahman Mishu (defenders), Mamunul Islam, Sahedul Shahed, Pranotosh Kumar Das, Zahed Parvez Chowdhury, Mehedi Hasan Ujjal, Arman Aziz, Zahid Hossain (mid fielders), Enamul Haque, Abdul Baten Komal, Zahid Hasan Emily and Mithun Chowdhury.
source: The Daily Star
“I am partially happy with the result. Our main target was to win and not to concede a goal. I am happy we achieved that. But we should have scored more as we got a lot of open chances” Urbanyi said, speaking to maldivesoccer.com.
The hot weather was a big complaint from the Hungarian, who is so concerned with players’ fitness.
“The weather was terrible today. It was very hot and the players were feeling it”
“We started to play well, but we missed too many chances.”
Urbanyi made eight substitutions in the second half and Ahmed Thoriq (Tom) and Ali Ashfaaq (Dhagey) played most of the time in the game and were substituted very late in the game. He noted he wanted to give the duo more time on the pitch.
“I wanted to give more time to Tom and Ashfaaq. They need more match fitness and that was the reason I wanted them to play. They still need more games to play”
Maldives scored the lone goal from a penalty that was awarded as a result of a hand ball by the opponent defender. Urbanyi was also full of praise for the opponent side.“
They were a strong side. They played very quick passes and it was an attacking game. ”
Urbanyi noted that the win will lift players’ spirit ahead of the upcoming games.“
It’s a good feeling for the players and it would improve the self confidence. “Maldives will face Malaysia under 21 team on Sunday and will leave for Dhaka on December 1st. Maldives is placed in group A of this year’s SAFF championship with India, Nepal and Afghanistan.
Bangladesh's official press briefing also centred partly around Dido and the obvious question was raised whether Bangladesh would be able to regain the title after terminating their coach prior to such a big tournament.
"Dido is now past and his sacking doesn't put us under any pressure," Bangladesh team manager Satyajit Das Rupu said. "Now I can say Bangladesh will play SAFF Championship with our best players, who have no lack of commitment."
Bangladesh's captain-cum-goalkeeper Aminul Haq, though, acknowledged the contribution of Dido who had a two-month long conditioning and residential camp in order to make the players stay fit throughout the year.
"We've had two month's training under the guidance of Dido which has helped the players in the domestic competitions. Besides, we were in action after the camp and those things have been inspiring us towards playing better football in front of the home crowd."
Aminul, country's number one goalkeeper, informed that he has had talks with every player and they are all committed and want a repeat of 2003.
"After having talked with the players, it seems to me that all the players are committed to do well and I believe we are capable of emerging champions at home. The onus now rests on us, the players," said Aminul.
Interim coach Shahidur Rahman Shantoo is also optimistic with his charges and promised to take the hosts to the final.
"During my 19-day camp, I have tried my best to solve technical problems the boys had before and also tried to rectify their mistakes through three practice matches and I am confident about reaching the final," said Shantoo.
Shantoo has already studied his group opponents Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Pakistan and he believes that all the teams are of similar strength.
"From what I have heard about our opponents, I can assure you that we will play better football than them and if the boys can execute my plans during the matches, it is very much possible to emerge as champions."
Bangladesh were eliminated from the group stages in the last edition of SAFF championship after playing a 1-1 draw against Bhutan, a 2-2 draw against Afghanistan before going down 1-0 to Sri Lanka in the final group match.
However, Bangladesh under the guidance of Dido broke their three-years winless streak handing a 1-0 defeat to Cambodia during the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers early this year at home.
source: The Daily Star
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.
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.
Tajikistan Vs Nepal 14:30
Yemen Vs Palestine 12:00
Kyrgyzstan Vs Jordan 14:00
All 15 matches including the semifinals and final will be played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium with two matches of the group stage to be played each day from December 4 to 9. Both semifinals are scheduled for December 11 while the final will take place on December 13.
Nepal have been drawn in Group A along with India, Maldives and Afghanistan. Likewiese, host Bangladesh have been placed in Group B along with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bhutan.
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.
Organizing a press conference at the Dasharath Stadium on Friday, ANFA General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan said the technical manpower -- match commissioner, referee assessors, FIFA referees and assistant referees -- deployed by the Asian Football Confederation to conduct the tournament has arrived on Thursday. An assistant referee will be arriving on Friday evening.
Three matches -- two at Dasharath Stadium and one at APF Ground -- will be held each day on Oct 25, Oct 27, Oct 29, Nov 1 and Nov 4. The second match at the Dasharath Stadium will be telecast live on NTV2. The entry fee has been set at Rs 100 in simple and Rs 200 in VVIP parapet.
Sunrise Bank that has sponsored Rs 1.5 million for the event is the main sponsor of the tournament. Speaking on the occasion, general manager of the bank Suman Neupane said they would further extend support to sports sector if the bank continued with their ongoing financial progress.
Meanwhile, assistant coach of Nepali team Kishor KC said the team is fullly prepared and will try to come up with good shows in the matches. “Our aim is to qualify for the final round,” he said. “The attacking line-up of the team will be strong if Nirajan Malla plays the match.” Malla was injured last Wednesday while undergoing training and had to take rest for a week. “He is 90 percent fit and I hope he will be able to play the matches.”
He also said all the teams are physically dominant than the Nepali team. KC has judged Yemen as the strongest opponent for the Nepali side. Revealing the strategy of the team, he said the team will come up in the 4-4-2 formation.
Six teams --Tajikistan, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan and Nepal -- are pitted in the group. Top two teams of the group will advance into the final round of the tournament to be held next year. The matches will be held on the round robin basis.
Tajikistan Vs Kyrgyzstan @ 12:00 Dasharath Stadium
Jordan Vs Palestine @ 14:00 Halchowk Ground
Yemen Vs Nepal @ 14:30 Dasharath Stadium
October 27, Tuesday
Jordan Vs Yemen @ 12:00 Dasharath Stadium
Nepal Vs Kyrgyzstan @ 14:30 Dasharath Stadium
Tajikistan Vs Palestine @ 14:00 Halchowk Ground
October 29, Thursday
Palestine Vs Yemen @ 12:00 Dasharath Stadium
Tajikistan Vs Nepal @ 14:30 Dasharath Stadium
Kyrgyzstan Vs Jordan @ 14:00 Halchowk Ground
November 1, Sunday
Kyrgyzstan Vs Palestine @ 12:00 Dasharath Stadium
Nepal Vs Jordan @ 14:30 Dasharath Stadium
Yemen Vs Tajikistan @ 14:00 Halchowk Ground
November 4, Wednesday
Tajikistan vs Jordan @ 12:00 Dasharath Stadium
Kyrgystan vs Yemen @ 14:00 Halchowk Ground
Palestine vs Nepal @ 14:30 Dasharath Stadium
The home team backed by local supporters, which made good start, conceded all the goals following errors of goalie Shamsher Thapa and the defending line up. Nepali team which came up with better performance in the first half failed to repeat the same in the second half of the match.
Nepal on the bottom of the table with no points after playing two matches now only has a mathematical chance of advancing in the final round.
An own goal from Nepali defender Man Bahadur Tamang in the 34th minute gave the lead to the visitors as the defender and goalkeeper lacked coordination. Tamang´s effort to clear the ball near the goal post off Hossein Natshai entered the net.
Substitute Hassanifar Mohammadreza doubled the lead in 57th minute to put Nepal under more pressure. Nepali goalie Thapa failed to control the ball fully and the ball rolled into the net.
Likewise, goalie Thapa who came to take offside outside box slipped while taking it and opponent player Afinehchi Amir Abbas who controlled the ball did not make any mistakes to send the ball past the net from about 35 yards.
Nepal which made about half dozen good moves in the match twice missed sure chances of scoring. Likewise, Iran made more than a dozen good moves in the match.
Nepali coach Dambar Gurung said that all goals were conceded due to the mistakes of the goalkeeper. He said, “Overall the players played well, we missed three solid chances of scoring.”
Iran coach Mohammadi Agri Akbar said that he was not satisfied with the match. He said, “We were lucky, we created lot of opportunities but could not finish well. Nepal showed good footballing.”
Tajikistan thrash Lebanon 3-0
Earlier, a brace from captain Rasulov Dilshod steered Tajikistan to 3-0 win over Lebanon to continue with their unbeaten streak.
Dilshod, who turned the hero of the match, opened the scoring utilizing a freekick from about 25 yards against the helpless custodian El Mahmoud.
Lebanon´s Mohammad Markabawi had a good chance to equalize in the first half, but he fell down following a tackle from the opponent player. He was shown yellow card after he demanded penalty against the tackle.
Lebanon´s custodian Mohamad Salem Mahmoud was bound to be substituted in the 39th following stomach pain. He was replaced by Ali Hallal.
Two minutes after the resumption of the second half, Tajik midfielder Sultonov Tolibjon volleyed over goalkeeper Ali Hallal to double the lead. Dilshod scored another goal in the 65th minute.
Lebanon got a penalty in the dying minutes of the second half as El Bayad was fouled inside the box by Tajik substitute player Bobokalonov Umar. But, Bayad missed the opportunity as his shot went wide.
Again they failed to score in the last moment of the match after Ali Saad´s magnificent header inside the box from Hussein Dor´s pass went above the bar.
Nepal is the only team among the five that have yet to score a point. Tajikistan are at the top of the table with four points followed by Lebanon, Bahrain and Iran respectively.
Nepal, which must win to remain in contention, need an overhaul in their approach. They need to improve their midfield and as well as convert their chances if they are to bag three points against Iran, a team that will definitely get better as the tournament progresses.
Coach Damber Singh Gurung has vowed to change his team's approach and field better strikers and midfielders after the much-vaunted midfielders failed to live up to expectations on the first day.
Gurung is well aware of Iran's hunger to win after a frustrating goal-less draw in the previous game despite their being the better of the two teams throughout the game.
Iran, however, are not a new opponent for Gurung, who has been with the current Nepali squad for the last two years. Two years ago, Gurung's U-14 team, consisting many of the same players as now, had played Iran twice, coming up with a draw (0-0) and a loss (1-0).
But times have changed and Iran are no longer the same side. Many players in the current Iran squad will represent their senior national squad in the years to come and will probably also be playing in the World Cup, given Iran's strong footballing base.
Even in the Iran-Tajikistan draw on Wednesday, the defending champions managed to show why they are the team to beat in the tournament. Blessed with good physique and the ability to play free-flowing football, Iran had put the Tajiks under pressure right though the match. But one thing they failed to get was goals. Iran, however, can be expected to put the game behind and turn on the screws against Nepal.
"We played a good game but failed to score. We will come out as a different team in the next match," said Iran coach. "The rain also affected the performance of the players."
The first match of the day will see table toppers Tajikistan and Lebanon in action. The game is important for both the teams but Tajikistan will look to maintain their winning run to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the next round. Should Tajikistan win the game, they will establish themselves as the forerunner in the race to the next round.
In their first match against Bahrain, Tajikistan played aggressive football, scoring twice while conceding none. In the second they managed to tame the mighty to earn a respectable draw, thanks in no small part to their keeper Shamsov Bahodur, who has yet to concede a goal in the tournament.
Lebanon will be without one of their key players Tommy Hamod, who was shown a red card at the end of the previous match when he tried to punch Ali Jawher Saad Sultan Faraj of Bahrain on the face.