KATHMANDU, JUNE 07
Nepal faced a 3-0 defeat against Jordan in the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City on Monday..
Baha Faisal Seif scored a brace, while Yazan Alarab netted one for Jordan, who had registered the victory over Nepal by same score line in the first leg match in September 2019 in Amman.
The loss meant Nepal are out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers race.
Jordan opened the scoring in 23rd minute from the spot after Nepal defender Rohit Chand brought down Mousa Mohammad Suleiman inside the box. Baha Faisal Seif converted the resulting penalty despite Nepal skipper and goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu making a right guess diving to his left.
Baha Faisal Seif doubled the lead in the 48th minute when he converted the free kick from 25 yards out into a sensational goal, firing into the far corner of the post. Yazan Al-Arab made it 3-0 in the 67th minute with a drop header following a cross from Ehsan Haddad.
In the one-sided first half, Nepal could not create much chance as they were busy in defending the attack from Jordanian side and custodian Limbu kept the team in the match with a string of saves. Limbu blocked Mousa Mohammad Suleiman's powerful shot from the edge of the box in the 15th minute, while he made a double save in the 42nd minute denying Mousa Mohammad Suleiman and Yazan Abdallah Alnaimat.
Jordan should have doubled the tally in the first half injury time when Mousa Mohammad Suleiman dodged Pujan Uperkoti, Ananta Tamang and Rohit Chand but he ended up with a wide shot from inside the box. In a rare move of the match, Nepal's Anjan Bista ended up with a wide shot after dodging a defender inside the box in the 85th minute, while Bishal Rai's shot from the edge of the penalty box went inches wide. Nepal will face Australia four days later in their last match of the campaign.
After the match, Nepal remained at the fourth position with six points from seven matches and are likely to enter the playoff round for the third round qualification of the Asian Cup. Australia are at the top of the Group B with 15 points from five matches, while Jordan accumulated 13 points with the victory over Nepal. Kuwait are at the third position with 10 points, while Chinese Taipei are yet to open their accounts.
In the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, Jordan had defeated Nepal 9-0 in their home match in Amman on July 23, 2011 before the two teams played a 1-1 draw at the Dasharath Stadium five days later in the return leg match, thanks to the equaliser from Bharat Khawas.
The 40 teams in the second round have been divided into eight pools and the group winners along with four best runners-up will make it to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification as well as qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. As per the format, the next 16 highest ranked teams - remaining four group runners-up, eight third-placed teams and the four best fourth-placed teams - will directly advance to the third round of Asian Cup qualification.
A version of this article appears in the print on June 8, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.