Roberts hopes better

KATHMANDU: After watching his boys make it to the second round of the FIFA 2014 World Cup Asia Zone qualifiers, Nepal’s English coach Graham Roberts said he will do all he can to give a better result in Jordan. 

Nepal crushed Timor Leste 5-0 to give perfect birthday gift for Roberts — who turns 53 on Sunday — at the Dasharath Stadium today to fix date with Jordan in the next stage for July 23 and 28 matches and Roberts has bold answers for the showdown. “I believe in my team. They have been absolutely fantastic throughout this first round and I will do anything on my power to come with best results in Jordan,” said Roberts, who took charge of Nepal on February 1. 

The return leg against Timor Leste was Nepal’s fifth match under Roberts with the former Tottenham Hotspur player giving Nepal three wins, a draw and a respectable 1-0 loss against 2010 World Cup finalists North Korea in AFC Challenge Cup Group ‘D’ qualifiers. Roberts has already guided Nepal to the AFC Challenge Cup finals for 2012. 

Roberts, who has already shaken Nepali football with some bold decisions, reiterated his confidence over the team after the Timor Leste thrashing. “I had told everyone before this match (second leg) that we are definitely going to qualify for the second round and the result is here today,” said Roberts. He also reasoned for the successful win today. 

“I had told my boys to play real football and keep passing the ball. They did that and we managed to score enough goals.” Roberts also thanked the sell-out crowd for their support. “The crowd was really fanatical. They came here to support their team and cheered every movement. It’s really great to see such huge amount of crowd backing their team,” added the coach.

Roberts was also all praise for midfielder Jagajeet Shrestha’ influential playmaking which helped Nepal dominate the match right the beginning. “He is a sensational player. I told my boys to pass him the ball all the time. He made some brilliant moves and they (Timor Leste players) had to go after him and that in fact worked for us. He has proved himself today,” the coach said.

Jagajeet was the centre of the game with display of brilliant playmaking and it was through his skills that Nepal took an early fourth minute lead in the match with the midfielder earning a penalty. Jagajeet also won four free-kicks in the match.

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