Nepal begin campaign against Bhutan

Guwahati, February 6

Nepal will begin the 12th South Asian Games football campaign with a match against Bhutan here at the Nehru Stadium on Sunday.

The team, skippered by Biraj Maharjan, trained at the North East Railway Sports Complex grounds this morning. Coach Raju Kaji Shakya said the players would not play under pressure. “The Bangabandhu Gold Cup title has boosted the morale of the players and I have let them play freely,” said Shakya, the 1993 SAF Games gold medal winning captain. “The players are physically and mentally fit for the tournament.”

Nepali team has upper hand in head-to-head results with Bhutan. In their 12 meetings, Nepal have won 10 matches losing two. But striker Bimal Gharti Magar said the team would not take Bhutan lightly. “Bhutan is no long a weak team and we cannot afford to take them lightly,” said Gharti Magar. In their last meeting, Nepal had beaten Bhutan 2-1 in a friendly match in 2013.