HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Nepali Under-22 team, preparing for the AFC U-22 Asian Cup Group ‘D’ Qualifiers scheduled here for June 2-10, shocked the Nepali national team 1-0 in a practice match here at the Nepal APF Headquarters grounds in Halchowk today.
Bharat Khawas scored the winner in the first half to upset the senior team. The match was organised after the U-22 coach Krishna Thapa asked the All Nepal Football Association to arrange at least a couple of matches with either the national side or against Tribhuvan Army Club.
“I was more focused in selection than to set the team. After testing my probable starting-XI, I fielded my second set players in the second half,” said Thapa adding they would have won the match more comfortably had not they wasted about half-a-dozen scoring chances. “We were unlucky not to add more goals. We hit woodworks on numerous occasions,” said Thapa.
Skipper Sagar Thapa, Sandip Rai, Bikash Malla, Raju Tamang, Nirajan Khadka, Bhola Silwal, Tanka Basnet and Santosh Sahukhala played from the national team. “The senior team has not trained for a long time, but they played quite well. Today’s match will help ease pressure to cut the current squad to 23,” the coach said.
Thapa is currently training 27 players in the closed-camp and said he would name the final squad on Thursday. Thapa further added that he had asked the national team assistant coach Megh Raj KC to prepare the senior team members for another friendly.