ANFA names squad for Jordan match

KATHMANDU: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) today announced a shortened 20-member national team including the now “disciplined” Santosh Sahukhala for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Zone Qualifying second round first leg match against Jordan.

Nepal travel to Jordan two days before their July 23 first leg and host Jordan at home on July 28. ANFA was initially preparing to play both home and away matches in Jordan to reduce financial burdens. “Considering the home advantage we have decided to host the second leg,” said ANFA vice-president Lalit Krishna Shrestha. He said the team was reduced due to the budget constraints. 

Meanwhile, the MMC forward Sahukhala, whom Nepal’s English coach Graham Roberts dumped out of the squad on disciplinary grounds before the first round World Cup qualifying matches against Timor Leste, was recalled in the squad. Four players — goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha, midfielders Vijay Gurung and Yogesh Gurung and forward Ganesh Lawati — from the Timor Leste conquering team were axed out.

“If things do not go right for us in Jordan, we can bring in few more players in the second leg,” said Roberts. The team assembles for training from Sunday before leaving on Thursday.

Roberts said the short preparation period is not ideal but have to do with it. “ I have watched the video of about 10 Jordan matches and now know their players and their game,” said the coach adding that he was confident of his boys to put in hard work. Roberts said that everything is against them — a long flight to make, to play in a very humid condition and a very short time to adjust to the local conditions.

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Kiran Chemjong, Bikash Malla, Ritesh Thapa; Defenders: Sagar Thapa, Sandip Rai, Rohit Chand, Biraj Maharjan, Rabin Shrestha, Bikash Singh Chhetry, Deepak Bhusal; Midfielders: Nirajan Khadka, Bhola Nath Silwal, Jagajit Shrestha, Anil Ojha, Shiva Shrestha; Jumanu Rai, Anil Gurung, Bharat Khawas, Santosh Sahukhala, Sujal Shrestha.

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