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Nepal slump to 3-0 defeat vs Tajikistan in AFC Asian Qualifiers

Tajikistani player tries to dribble past Nepali defense during AFC Asian Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium in Dushane, Tajikistan, on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Courtesy: AFC

KATHMANDU:  Nepal crushed to 3-0 humiliating defeat against Tajikistan courtesy of three penalties in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers played at the Hisor Central Stadium in Dushanbe on Tuesday.

Nepal had to defeat the hosts to keep their chances alive of progressing into the next round, however, their faint hope evaporated after porous defense conceded three penalties.

With today’s result, Tajikistan have climbed to the second spot and increased their chances of making into the next round, while Nepal remain at the bottom of the table.

Courtesy: AFC

Earlier, Nepal were beaten 2-1 at home by Tajikistan.

With a do-or-die situation to Nepal, hosts put on a relentless pressure to the visiting team and broke the deadlock courtesy of a penalty on 21st minute of the first half.

Tajikistan players Nuriddin Davronov, Parviz Umarboev and Manuchekhr Dzhalilov all scored from the penalty spot.

After the break, Nepal brought in Nawayug Shrestha in place of Bimal Gharti Magar, the striker made an immediate impact nearly scoring an equaliser in the 50th minute.

Shrestha turned the defender inside out and coaxed him with his sleek footwork, but took longer then expected to pull the trigger as his deflected shot went past the near post.

The hosts extended their lead courtesy of another penalty as defender Ananta Tamang hauled down the Tajikistani striker inside the box on 58th minute.

Kiran Kumar Limbu produced a brilliant reflex save to keep his team in the hunt.

Tajikistan player weaved moves at will, on the 70th minute they nearly scored again as the hosts player danced down the flank before nut-mugging a Nepali defender with a cutback inside the box.

However, Nepali custodian Limbu was equal to the task as he thwarted exquisite strike to deny the host from taking further lead.

The hosts relentless pressing game paid the dividend off on the 86th minute as the visiting defender Aditya Choudary conceded another penalty.

Nepal will host the Philippines at the Halchowk Stadium on November 14, 2017. Earlier, the Ajkals had defeated Nepal 4-1 in Manila on March 28.

Nepal will then travel to Doha to face Yemen for the final qualifying game of the campaign on March 27, 2018. Earlier, they were held to a 1-1 draw by war-torn nation Yemen at the Halchowk Stadium in Kathmandu.

The United Arab Emirates is hosting the AFC 2019 Asia Cup.

Before traveling to Dushanbe, Nepal’s head coach had confessed that the qualification to the Asian Cup 2019 was a distant dream.

Country without even a singly international standard stadium till date, it was unlikely that the National Team marred by lack of National League and poor infrastructure would deliver in international games.

Since two years, the All Nepal Football Association has failed to organise National League in the nation.

As of this month’s FIFA Ranking, Nepal rank 175th position to Tajikistan 140th in the world football.

Courtesy: AFC

–  By Mausam Shah Nepali for THT

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