Youth team crashes out

Kathmandu, November 4

Nepal went down to the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in their Group A match of the AFC U-19 Championship Qualifiers at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan today.

With the third consecutive defeat, Nepal are now out of the race. They had faced a 2-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Kyrgyzstan before suffering a 4-0 loss against Bahrain in the previous two matches. Nepal will now play against Oman on November 8.

The UAE, who had thrashed Oman 5-1 in their opening match, accumulated six points from two matches and kept their chances high for the finals berth. Kyrgyzstan, who have recorded two wins in three matches, also have six points. Bahrain and Oman are tied on three points each.

A total of 41 countries, who have been divided into 10 pools, are taking part in the qualifiers. Group winners along with five best runners-up and hosts Indonesia will earn berths in next year’s tournament.

In the day’s match, the UAE earned three points riding on Khalfan Hassan Al Hamadi’s solitary goal. Nepal, who had lost two matches in a row, were able to hold the UAE in the first half although they failed to create goal scoring chances.

However, UAE found the back of the nets in the 71st minute after Hamadi scored in counter attack. Fortunate for the UAE, the pass from a Nepali player got deflected to Chinese referee Wang Di and Hamadi collected the ball and made no mistake.

Nepal earned an opportunity to level the scores in the 90th minute when they were awarded with a penalty. But Abhishek Rijal failed to score from the spot as UAE goalkeeper Suhail Abdulla Almutawa dived in the right direction to punch the ball out. Nepal got the penalty after UAE custodian Almutawa brought down Nepali forward Rejin Subba inside the box.