Footballers off to Oman

Kathmandu, October 5:

A 26-member national football team today left for Oman to play the World Cup qualifying away match against Oman slated for October 8. Oman will travel to Kathmandu for the October 28 return leg match.

New skipper Rakesh Shrestha of Mahendra Police Club expressed his happiness after coach Shyam Thapa announced his name to lead the team for Oman game. Rajesh Shahi of Nabil Three Star was named the vice captain. “We are a mixed team of experienced and youngsters and I am confident that the players will put their 100 per cent effort for the match,” he added.

Coach Shyam Thapa was confident of a tough fight. “These players will put up a good fight against Oman,” he said adding he would opt 5-4-1 format for the match.

Earlier, National Sports Council member secretary Jeevan Ram Shrestha and All Nepal Football Association president Ganesh Thapa bade farewell to the team.

SQUAD: Goalkeepers — Bikash Malla, Ritesh Thapa; Defenders — Anjan KC, Lok Bandhu Gurung, Sagar Thapa, Chun Bahadur Thapa, Sandip Rai, Rakesh Shrestha, Sanjeev Budhathoki; Midfielders — Pradeep Maharjan, Raju Tamang, Vishan Gauchan, Rajesh Shahi, Bishwo Bairag Samal, Nabin Neupane, Tashi Chhiring; Strikers — Nirajan Rayamajhi, Ju Manu Rai, Anil Gurung, Santosh Sahukhala. Shyam Thapa (coach) and Upendra Man Singh and Bal Gopal Maharjan (assistant coaches).