Nepal hosting return match WC qualier against Jordon

SOURCE: REPUBLICA KATHMANDU, July 15: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) finally announced to host the home match of the 2014 World Cup Asian Qualifier second round against Jordan in Kathmandu. At a press conference on Friday, ANFA announced the home match against Jordan will take place at the Dasharath Stadium on July 28.

“ANFA took the decision to host the second leg match here in Kathmandu after considering the yearning of Nepali football fans and advantage that Nepali team will get playing in front of the home crowd,” said ANFA Vice-President and Spokesperson Lalit Krishna Shrestha.

Earlier, ANFA had informed that both home and away matches against Jordan will be played in Jordan. However, ANFA made a U-turn after fans created tremendous pressure and coach Graham Roberts requested ANFA to host the second leg (home match) at the home ground.

Nepali team will play away match against Jordan on July 23 in Jordan and play home match on July 28.

20-member team announced

Nepali football team coach Roberts announced a 20-member squad for the first leg (away match) against Jordan. Roberts dropped goalkeeper Bishal Shrestha, midfielders Yogesh Gurung and Bijay Gurung as well as forward Ganesh Lawati from the 23-member squad that played against East Timor in the World Cup Qualifier first round.

Meanwhile, Roberts has called in striker Santosh Sahukhala, who was axed from the squad that played against East Timor by Roberts taking disciplinary action for reporting late to the closed camp.

“Because of financial reasons, we are sending only 20 players to Jordan,” said spokesperson Shrestha.

The 20-member squad includes goalkeepers Bikash Malla, Ritesh Thapa and Kiran Chemjong, defenders Sagar Thapa, Sandip Rai, Rohit Chand, Biraj Maharjan, Robin Shrestha, Bikash Singh Chhetri and Deepak Bhusal. Likewise, midfielders Nirajan Khadka, Bhola Nath Silwal, Jagajeet Shrestha, Anil Ojha, Shiva Shrestha, Bharat Khawas and Sujal Shrestha are also in the team while Jumanu Rai, Anil Gurung and Santosh Sahukhala are strikers in the team.

“This is a team for the first leg only. We can call in players for the second leg,” said Roberts.

Roberts said he has been watching matches of Jordan for last few days and found that they are quick and score goals early and dominate the games. “We´ll work hard to stop them in the humid conditions of Jordan,” said Roberts.

Roberts expressed his dissatisfaction over the continuity of Martyrs Memorial League until the eve of the World Cup qualifying matches. “It´s not the best way to prepare for the match but we have to move on,” said Roberts. “I´m confident about the second leg match,” he added.

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