Sept. 7- A goal in the dying minutes of the game by Kiran Sunar gave Nepal a 1-1 draw against defending champions Uzbekistan in their opening group ‘C’ match in the AFC U-16 Championship at the Muangthong Stadium on Sunday.
Uzbekistan were leading with Kuchimov Jonibek’s goal till the last minute, but Sunar scored from Anjan Bista’s corner that had been flicked by Ananta Tamang in the 90+4 minute to save a point for Nepal.
Sunar was close to the post, when the ball came towards his path. He placed the ball beautifully on the top corner beyond keeper Khojdev’s reach.
Celebrations went wild in Nepali camp as the entire team was dejected by the team’s performance that looked lethargic through-out the match.
Nepal played without their skipper Bimal Gharti Magar and his absence was heavily felt as Nepal failed to make any attacks. Ananta Tamang had taken his role.
Uzbekistan scored in the 54th minute through a penalty that had been awarded for a tackle on Kenajev Islom by Ananta Tamang. Kuchimov Jonibek did the honours.
Nepal coach Bal Gopal Maharjan later commented that the penalty had been awarded for no reason. “ Even their players were shocked to see the referee giving the penalty,” said Maharjan. “ We were a little nervous in the first few minutes but we came back in the game later. We made some substitution and that worked. This point has motivated my players to do well because they came back from the jaws of defeat,” added Maharjan.
Uzbekistan coach Mochinov Alexander said that his team played aggressively in the early minutes and were exhausted towards the end. “ We conceded due to that. Nepal showed their strength that they can come back. Nepal displayed a strong performance” said Alexander.
Ananta Tamang was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
Ananta Tamang (Yellow)- 56'
Amit Tamang replaced by Sujit Gurung in 84 mins
Hemant Thapa Magar replaced by Sajok Rai in 46 mins
Bikash Thapa replaced by Anil Rai in 88 mins
Goal scored by Kiran Sunar- 84 mins
Sept. 9- Nepal increased their chances of moving into the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship following their 2-1 win over Kuwait at the Muangthong Stadium on Tuesday.
Skipper Bimal Gharti Magar, who returned to the squad following his suspension in the first match, confirmed Nepal the win scoring a penalty in the 81st minute.
Kuwait had cancelled Nepal’s third minute goal -- courtesy an own goal from S. Alkhaildi -- in the 75th minute through S. Albariki.
Nepal looked a lot confident than their previous encounter against Uzbekistan in the first match. The team went ahead as early as in the third minute when Kiran Sunar’s cross in the middle of box deflected off S. Alkhaldi into the back of the net.
Nepal dominated the possession following the goal, going close to scoring several times in the games. Anjan Bista missed several attempts throughout the game. Kiran Sunar and Sanjog Rai all missed the target several times.
It’s not that Kuwait were completely in the receiving end. Ananta Tamang was a live-wire at the back. His most notable play was when he headed away S. Albarik’s powerful shot, with the keeper beaten.
Kuwait equalized in the 75th minute when Akash Thapa brought down M. Alsulaili inside the box. Though goalkeeper Roman Rasaili guessed the direction right, it was too powerful for Rasaili to deny it.
Nepal’s winning goal came in the 81st minute, thanks to a penalty won by Anjan Bista. Bimal converted the penalty with ease to give Nepal three points from the match.
Nepal now have four points with a match remaining against North Korea on Thursday.
Bimal Gharti Magar was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
Nepal goals-Bimal Gharti Magar 82' pk
S. Alkhaldi 3'(OG)
Nepal cards- Aakash Thapa- 74' (Y)
89' Bimal (Out), Anil Rai( In )
87' Bikash Thapa( Out) , Rupesh Tamang( In)
81' Sunil Bal (Out), Sanjok Rai( In)
3. N. Korea beat Nepal 4-1 to qualify
Sept. 11- Nepal’s hopes of qualifying to the U-17 World Cup in Chile came to an end after they suffered a 4-1 loss against North Korea in their last Group ‘C’ match at the Rajamanga Stadium on Thursday.
North Korea and Uzbekistan qualified from Group C. Uzbekistan beat Kuwait 4-2 to qualify as the group winner.
North Korea, who needed all three points from today’s match, played accordingly and went in front as early as in the fourth minute through Hyon Hyok. They added the second goal in the 23rd minute through Song Hyok.
Ananta Tamang had ignited Nepal’s hopes by reducing the deficit in the 26th minute but Kwang Song made it 3-1 for Korea in the 27th minute. North Korea’s last goal came in the second minute of added extra time of the first half through Song Hyok. Tamang had scored for Nepal through a header from Amit Tamang’s cross.
With a win against Kuwait and a draw against defending champions Uzbekistan, Nepal needed just a points from today’s match but Nepal could not play with the same virtues that had won them points against Kuwait and Uzbekistan.
After conceding the early, Nepal could have made a comeback through Bimal Gharti Magar in the 12th minute when he was on a one-on-one situation with keeper R. Chol Song, but Magar put his attempt directly on the keeper feet.
Nepal tried continuously to make a comeback but the Koreans frustrated Nepal with their short and quick exchanges. Kwang Song and Song Hyok were the two key players of the Korea team. Their fast movement easily beat the Nepali defense. Had it not been for Ananta Tamang, Nepal would have easily conceded more goals.
Nepal gained some momentum in the second half but it was too little too late to create any damages in the Korean half.
Nepal coach Bal Gopal Maharjan had scripted a defensive strategy, fielding a 5-4-1 strategy, with Bimal up front. Kiran Sunar and Bikash Thapa were in the flanks, while Anjan Bista had supported Bimal. Gaurab Budathoki played a defensive role. Amit Tamang, Dinesh Rajbansi, Rupesh Tamang, Aakash Thapa and Ananta Tamang played behind.
Nepal 1- 4 N. Korea
Goal- Ananta Tamang- 26’
53’ Rupesh Tamang (Out), Sujit Gurung (IN)
67’ Bimal Gharti Magar (Out), Hemant Thapa Magar (IN)
30’ Bikash Thapa (Out), Sunil Bal (IN)
75’ Aakash Thapa