Nepali Youth football team off to Kyrgyzstan

Kathmandu, October 29

The Nepali youth team on Monday left for Kyrgyzstan to participate in the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers to be held from October 31 to November 8 in Kyrgyzstan.

Head coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung has made four changes in the squad that won the SAFF U-18 Championship in Bhutan last month. Goalkeeper Sandesh Gurung, forward Dipesh Ale Magar and midfielders Rajiv Lopchan and Ram Wojee were axed from the squad, while he brought in goalkeeper Sojit Gurung, forward Suraj Jeu Thakuri and midfielders Rajesh Pariyar and Manish Thapa.

Arpan Karki will lead the Nepali squad in the Qualifiers, while Prezen Tamang, Abhisek Baral, Biswas Udas, Asim Bhusal, Bikash Khawash, Rajan Gurung, Suman Aryal, Aakash Shrestha, Nirajan Maharjan, Roman Limbu, Ashok Thapa, Dinesh Hemjan, Abishek Rijal, Anil Maharjan, Sesehang Amgdambe, Arik Bista, Rejin Subba and Dhiraj Shrestha are other members of the team.

Puskar Shahi is the assistant coach, while Mrigendra Mishra is goalkeeping coach. ANFA Member Ganesh Bahadur Chand is the team manager. Meanwhile National Sports Council Member Secretary Keshab Kumar Bista, All Nepal Football Association President Narendra Shrestha, Senior Vice President Mani Kunwar, General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan among others bade farewell to the team.

Nepal are in Group A in the Qualifiers along with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and hosts Kyrgyzstan. Nepal will open the campaign with a match against Kyrgyzstan on October 31 before facing Bahrain on November 2. Nepal will then play against the UAE on November 4 and take on Oman on November 8.

A total of 40 countries are taking part in the Qualifiers and they have been divided into 10 pools. Group winners and five best runners-up will earn berth in the finals along with hosts Indonesia.