Nepal ready for India final

Kathmandu, August 26

Nepal will be facing India for the second time in five days and the hosts are planning to emerge victorious against the arch rivals this time around.

Nepal and India are facing each other in the SAFF U-15 Championship final at the ANFA Complex grounds on Sunday. The visitors had registered a 2-1 victory in their league round match on Wednesday. The stage was set after Nepal saw off Bangladesh 4-2 and India defeated Bhutan 3-0 in the semi-final matches on Friday.

Nepal head coach Sunil Kumar Shrestha said his side was confident of beating the visitors in the final. “As we have already faced India, we have prepared plans accordingly. The boys have been improving and are boosted for the final,” said Shrestha at a pre-match press meet. “We are hoping for a different result than in the previous meeting,” said Shrestha.

Shrestha rated India as one of the tough teams among six participating nations and his side would be under pressure in the final. “In the past, Nepal always played under pressure against India. But things will be different this time around as we have prepared well for the encounter,” added Shrestha, who hinted at shuffling the starting line-up.

Nepali team skipper Roshan Rana Magar said that the final match would be a different one and his side would try not to repeat the mistakes the team did in previous matches.

Meanwhile, India head coach Bibiano Fernandes said the final match between Nepal and India will be a different one than that of the group stage. “Final will be completely a different match and we will adopt different approach. I hope Nepal will also come up with a different approach against us, ” said Fernandes. “It would be difficult to beat the same team twice in a row in a single tournament. And it would be more difficult to beat the same opponent in final. However, our boys are ready and will give everything to win the trophy,” added Fernandes.

India skipper Vikram Partap Singh said winning the trophy would be morale booster for his side’s campaign in the AFC U-16 Qualifiers. “We will try to win the match as it will help us in the Qualifiers,” said Singh. Nepal are hosting India, Iraq and Palestine for the Group D matches of the AFC U-16 Qualifiers from September 20-24 at the Nepal APF Club grounds in Halchowk.

In the third place playoff match, Bangladesh will face Bhutan at the APF Club grounds on the same day.