Nepal lose men's football to hosts



DHAKA, Jan 30: Nepal suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat against hosts Bangladesh in the opener of the football match during the 11th SAG here at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Saturday.

Mamun Ul Islam scored in the first half while Atiqur Rahman Meshu and substitute Mithun Chowdhury scored in the dying minutes of the match to please the home crowd. Mamun gave Bangladesh the lead early in the eighth minute capitalizing on a defensive error from Nepali defenders. Nepal´s hope of making a comeback was shattered when Meshu doubled the lead in the 88th minute. Chowdhury added the third in the injury time while the U-23 Nepali team was playing in an offensive mode.

With the defeat, Nepal´s hope of repeating the success after 16 years in the regional Games football got a blow. Nepal had won gold medal here in the same venue during the sixth SAF Games in 1993. It was the one and only gold Nepal had won in that edition of the biggest regional sporting event.

Earlier in the first match in the same Group A, Maldives beat Bhutan 1-0. Nepal will take on Maldives on Monday before taking on Bhutan on Wednesday in their next group stage match. Two teams from each of the two groups will qualify for the semifinals. Group B includes India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Nepal looked disorganized from the very beginning and they almost conceded the second goal in the 18th minute only for goalkeeper Bikash Malla to deny the hosts. Bikash acrobatically saved a shot from eight yards by Md Zahid Hasan Amely.

The 1984 and 1993 champions Nepal improved their game in the later part of the first half creating a few chances. Yogesh Shrestha could not meet a wonderful chance in the 27th minute when Anil fed him up in the far post. However, Shrestha reacted late and could not reach the ball. Anil also headed wide in a cross from Yogesh in the 39th minute. Nepal Police Club forward Jumanu Rai also wasted a chance in the 42nd minute.

Chetan Ghimire was replaced by Bhola Silwal after he sustained injuries in the 44th minute. Nepal failed to pile pressure in the second half despite making some attractive moves. With time running out, they were forced to play attacking football, but in the process they conceded the second goal. Unmarked Meshu headed home from a corner kick and Chowdhury sealed the emphatic win with the third goal in the injury time. Mithun scored in a one-versus-one as goalkeeper Bikash Malla moved forward from his position.

Nepal coach Yugambar Suwal said that his players could not continue the game as planned. "We also missed many opportunities," said the Nepal coach. All Nepal Football Association President Ganesh Thapa said that inexperience of playing in front of the Bangladeshi home crowd was the reason for the defeat. Apart from two gold medals, Nepal have also won two silver and as many bronze medals in the SAG.

1 comment:

Sthapa said...

By going down to Bangladesh in the opener we have put ourselves into a deep hole once again. Going by the result and match report, we played very poorly and never found ourselves in the game. What more can I say.
The defeat has put enormous pressure on us and unless we bounce back with a vengeance it might be the end of the road for us.
With two matches to go against Maldives and Bhutan, our destiny is in our own hands.
Despite the setback, I still beleive we have the potential to reach the last four.
The matter of fact is that we can succeed unless we play one hundread percent and not fall prey to complacency as we did against Bangladesh.
Bear in mind in both Maldives and Bhutan we have stubborn and unpredictable opponents determined to beat us.