Nepal beat Macau 1-0 to lift maiden AFC Solidarity Cup
KATHMANDU: With Sujal Shrestha's solo goal in the first half, Nepal lifted the AFC Solidarity Cup 2016, beating Macau in Sarawak Stadium in Kuching of Malaysia on Tuesday evening.
It is Nepal's third international title this year. Nepal had won the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh and the SAFF Games men's football gold medal in India earlier this year.
Nepal dominated Macau in both the halves of the final match played at waterlogged pitch this evening.
In the 52nd minutes, as Nepal won a free-kick Bimal Gharti Magar floated a weighted delivery into the six-yard box where unmarked Bharat Khawas directed a free header which, however, missed the target.
Nepal's standing skipper Biraj Maharjan conceded a needless free-kick in the 62nd minutes as the ball bounced awkwardly to touch his arms just outside the D-box area. As Macau player firmly struck the ball, Nepali custodian Kiran Kumar Limbu was well beaten. Ananta Tamang, however, came to rescue and preserved Nepal's lead.
Earlier this year, Nepal had lifted the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh and SAFF Games men's football gold medal held in India.
The Macau custodian remained busy throughout the first half as Khawas and Nawayug Shrestha went close to breaking the deadlock in the early stage of the play.
Nepal constantly barged into the Macau territory before Anjan Bista let fly a right-footed pile driver from 35 yards only to be denied by a superb save from the opponent goalkeeper.
Bikarm Lama went agonisingly close of doubling Nepal's lead in the added time of the first half as his header scooped over the bar from the six yard.
Laos secured third place, defeating Brunei Darussalam 3-2 at the Sarawak Stadium on Monday evening.
KATHMANDU: Nepal and Macau are locking their horns for the AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia.
Nepal's starting XI
Biraj Maharjan (C )
Bimal Gharti Magar
Kiran Kumar Limbu (GK)
Macau's starting XI
Ho Man Fai (GK)
Lei Ka Him
Lao Pak Kin
Cheang Cheng Ieong Paulo (C )
Leong Ka Hang
Nicholas Mario Tarrao
Lam Ka Seng
Cheong Hoi San
Kong Cheng Hou
Pang Chi Hang