Koji trims Asian Cup Qualifiers squad

Lalitpur, March 10

Head coach Gyotoku Koji of Japan today trimmed the squad for national team's Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers first leg match against the Philippines.

Koji had called 36 players for the closed camp training a month ago and the Japanese coach omitted eight players from the preliminary squad, while striker Nawayug Shrestha pulled out of the camp because of knee injury.

Out of the five newcomers in the preliminary squad, only Bimal Basnet survived the first hurdle, while Bishow Adhikari, Bimal Panday, Yubraj Khadka and Ravishankar Paswan failed to make the cut. Also, Hemanta Thapa Magar, Sunil Bal, Dipak Gurung and Dinesh Rajbanshi were the other players who could not impress the coach for further training. The second round of the training will start on Monday at the ANFA Complex.

The 27-member squad includes four goalkeepers in Bikesh Kuthu, Kiran Kumar Limbu, Bishal Shrestha and Alan Neupane, while Rabin Shrestha, Biraj Maharjan, Ananta Tamang, Aditya Chaudhary, Kamal Shrestha, Devendra Tamang, Ranjit Dhimal, Jitendra Karki, Bimal Basnet are the defenders.

Likewise, Rohit Chand, Man Bahadur Tamang, Bishal Rai, Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama, Anjan Bista, Sujal Shrestha, Suman Lama and Rajendra Rawal are the midfielders, while Bimal Gharti Magar, Ranjan Bista, Anil Gurung, Bharat Khawas and Karna Limbu are the forwards.

The first leg match will be played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 28.