Nepal Under-19 confident to perform well at home

KATHMANDU: The assistant coach of the Nepali team Kishore KC said his side was confident of good performance in the AFC Under-19 Championship Group A qualifiers beginning here next week.

“We have enthusiastic players in the squad itching to go for the kill. They have been playing together

for a long time which would help them to set good game,” said the confident coach at a press meet today. The coach said that the strength of his side was the team work.

“This team have played against the likes of Tribhuvan Army Club, Nepal

Police and Nabil Three

Star Club in the past and even performed well. The results will now depend

on their team work and how well they set the match,” said the assistant coach. According to KC, Nepal would opt to attack from the outset strengthening the defence line when they start their campaign against Yemen.

Nepal are pitted against Yemen, Tajikistan, Jordon, Palestine and Kyrgyzstan in the October 25 to November 4 tournament. The top two teams will qualify for the next year’s finals.

The return of the influential striker and skipper Nirajan Malla from injury has given the team a boost though the assistant coach said he was not fully fit. “He is recovering and at the moment he is 90 per cent fit,” said KC. The team, however, lost Suman Khadka after the midfielder was injured during training. The team management has called Kushal Shrestha in place of Khadka, informed KC.

Along with Malla, who can lead from the front, the team also has some experienced players like Rohit Chand, Ganesh Khadka, Dipak Bhushal and Shiva Shrestha, who have performed well in various senior level tournaments. Among them, Rohit Chand, effective in both defence and front line, has already represented the senior national team in the interntional tournaments — Prime Ministers’ Cup and AFC President’s Cup.

Meanwhile, the organisers All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) said all the preparations for the qualifiers were at the last stage. The match commissioners, FIFA referees, referee assessors and assistant referees have already arrived for the tournament.

The Dasharath Stadium at Tripureshwor will host two matches a day while the Armed Police Force grounds in Halchowk will host one. The U-19 teams of Jordan and Palestine have already arrived in Kathmandu while Yemen and Tajikistan landed on Friday. Kyrgyzstan are scheduled to arrive on Saturday.

NEPAL U-19 SQUAD: Strikers — Nirajan Malla, Sujal Shrestha, Roshan Devkota, Bishal Rai; Midfielders — Rupesh KC, Ram Krishna GC, Shiva Shrestha, Amir Shrestha, Kushal Shrestha, Ganesh Khadka, Komal Khawas, Jagjit Shrestha; Defenders — Dipak Bhushal, Ravi Mahat, Niraj Romi Magar, Badal Ghishing, Kobid Karki, Naresh Pokhrel Praveen Sainju; Goalkeepers — Dinesh Thapa, Bishal Shrestha, Prashod Joshi.

Group A Qualifiers fixtures

Day Match Time Venue

Oct 25 Tajikistan vs Kyrgyzstan 12:00 Dasharath Stadium

Yemen vs Nepal 2:30 Dasharath Stadium

Jordan vs Palestine 2:00 Halchowk Stadium

Oct 27 Jordan vs Yemen 12:00 Dasharath Stadium

Nepal vs Kyrgyzstan 2:30 Dasharath Stadium

Palestine vs Tajikistan 2:00 Halchowk Stadium

Oct 29 Palestine vs Yemen 12:00 Dasharath Stadium

Tajikistan vs Nepal 2:30 Dasharath Stadium

Kyrgyzstan vs Jordan 2:00 Halchowk Stadium

Nov 1 Nepal vs Jordan 2:30 Dasharath Stadium

Kyrgyzstan vs Palestine 12:00 Dasharath Stadium

Yemen vs Tajikistan 2:00 Halchowk Stadium

Nov 4 Tajikistan vs Jordan 12:00 Dasharath Stadium

Palestine vs Nepal 2:30 Dasharath Stadium

Kyrgyzstan vs Yemen 2:00 Halchowk Stadium