Nepal go down to Kyrgyzstan

Kathmandu, October 31

Nepal faced a 2-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Kyrgyzstan in their opening match of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek today.

In the Group A match, Kyrgyzstan rode on a goal each from Borubaev Gulzhigit and Shukurov Alimardon. Gulzhigit opened the scoring for the hosts in the 21st minute, while Alimardon doubled the tally in the injury time of the match.

The Nepali team, who won the SAFF U-18 Championship in Bhutan last month, missed an opportunity to level the score in the 61st minute when Rejin Subba failed to score in an open post despite beating the opponents’ goalkeeper.

Nepal’s head coach Chhiring Lopsang said his side failed to put up as the players were still struggling to acclimatise in Bishkek. “Since we had a long journey, our players are tired and they are yet to acclimatised with the local conditions,” said Gurung. “Some of our players even fell ill during the travel and the team failed to put its best show,” said Lopsang.

The coach, however, said Nepal still had chances to qualify for the finals. “Unfortunately we couldn’t put up a great show today as the opponents played well and achieved desired result. However, the tournament is not over and we will prepare well for the remaining matches,” he added.

Kyrgyzstan head coach Nikolai Iuzhanin said his team was able to foil Nepal’s attacks. “The players were worried in the beginning but were able to take control over the match quickly. They did not let Nepal create much scoring chances,” said Iuzhanin.

Nepal are in Group A along with hosts Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Nepal will face Bahrain on November 2 in their second match before taking on the UAE two days later. Nepal will play their last match of the qualifiers against Oman on November 8.

The 41 participating countries have been divided into 10 pools. The group winners along with five best runners-up will earn berths in next year’s finals along with hosts Indonesia.