Nepal play stalemate against Philippines in AFC Asian Cup Qualifier
KATHMANDU: After a 4-1 humbling at the hands of the Philippines in Manila, hosts Nepal were looking of a better showing against the same opponent as they played a dour stalemate at the Halchowk ground, in Kathmandu, on Tuesday.
Former skipper Anil Gurung, who had 50 caps for the national team, today announced his retirement from all formats of the game after the Philippines game.
Out of the contention for the qualification to the next round, Nepal played for a pride against the Ajkals infront of their home fans in their return fixture.
With victory, Philippines would have advanced into the next round, however, Nepal made them to wait for the final fixture as both the teams hesitated to play an attacking football.
Nepal revered to their traditional 4-4-2 system after two key defenders missed the fixture with injuries. However, the system failed to bore fruits as the Philippines were much superior in every department of the games.
After a slow start, Nepal created a first real chance after 17 minutes as midfielder Sujal Shrestha made a surging run forward from left side and fired straight at the rips of the opponent goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
Nepal's goalkeep Kiran Chemjong, pulled some of spectacular saves to deny the Philippines from taking all 3 points.
The hosts, nearly scored on the dying minutes of the game, however, Nawayug Shrestha's shot was blocked by Dennis Vilanueuva, Bimal Gharti Magar pulled the shot wide from the close range.
Nepal will travel to Doha to play their final away fixture against Yemen of the campaign.