Kathmandu, September 9
Nepal national football team head coach Johan Kalin hoped the team will return to track with natural game when they face Chinese Taipei in the second match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Competition and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday.
Nepal began the joint qualifying campaign of the two tournaments with a humiliating 7-0 defeat at the hands of Kuwait on September 5 in Group B which also includes the likes of Jordan and Australia. Accepting a tactical failure against Kuwait, head coach Kalin urged his players not to repeat the mistakes and play their natural game.
“For some reason, we failed against Kuwait. We need to get back on track and we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes we did against Kuwait,” Kalin told reporters at a pre-match conference on the eve of the match against Chinese Taipei. “We need to get back to our way of playing as we do not want to repeat the mistakes that we did against Kuwait. Chinese Taipei is a high-ranked side and it would be wrong to say them a weak team of the group,” said Kalin. “It’s a very strong and tough game — same as Kuwait.”
Kalin said the team had prepared certain plan to tackle Chinese Taipei. “We have set a plan against them but we can’t reveal that before the match. The biggest thing is to get back on track, to play our own game. If we put good performance, we will get points,” he added.
Chinese Taipei coach Loius Lancaster said he was looking forward for a tough game. “We will like to play on top of our game as this is a must-win match. This is a must win game and we are not going to hold back. We like to go forward and take our chances because we want to build pressure on the opponents with repeated attack. Even if we fail (after repeated attempts), I have asked my players to express themselves and leave the field with no regrets,” he added.
Currently, Kuwait and Jordan are at the top with three points each, while Australia are yet to open their campaign.
Nepal and Chinese Taipei have faced defeats in their first matches. Top team each from all eight groups and four best runners-up across all pools will earn berths in third round of World Cup Qualifiers and Asian Cup. The remaining four runners-up will advance to the Asian Cup qualifying third round, along with all third-placed sides and four best fourth-placed teams. The remaining four fourth-placed teams and all fifth placed sides will play in the Asian Cup qualifying play-off round.
A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.