Published On: August 27, 2019 11:40 AM NPT By: Republica | @RepublicaNepal
KATHMANDU, Aug 27: Nepal national football team has suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Malaysian Super League Champion Johor Darul Ta’ Zim football club in a friendly match on Monday.
At the Pasar Gudang Stadium in Johar City, the Malaysian champion took an early lead converting a pinpoint free-kick by Argentine midfielder Nicolás Alberto Fernández in the third minute.
Nepal midfielder Suman Aryal conceded the foul in the second minute of the match just outside the penalty area and Johor made no mistake. Johor maintained domination throughout the rest of the first half.
Nepal hardly made any dribbles at the opposition goal area while Johor consistently maintained its control after scoring the first goal.
The match finished 1-0 as the second half ended goalless.
Nepal announced the first XI which missed the obvious big names due to the players’ other commitments.
Bikesh Kuthu started at the goal whereas Suman Aryal, Devendra Tamang, Ananta Tamang and Ajit Bhandari formed the four-man backline.
Similarly, in a midfield heavy formation, stand-in captain Sujal Shrestha led Santosh Tamang, Bikram Lama, Bishal Rai and Ravi Paswan. Returning starlet Bimal Gharti Magar started as lone forward for the match.
Coach Johan Kalin had dropped regular skipper Biraj Maharjan citing fitness concern.
Similarly, Vice-captain Kiran Chemjong is on trial for securing a place with a Japan’s third-division club, and experienced mid-fielder Rohit Chand is with Indonesia’s Liga 1 defending champion Persija Jakarta.
The friendly was part of Nepal’s final preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (AFC) matches. Nepal is scheduled to play Kuwait on September 5 and Chinese Taipei on September 10. Nepal is pitted in Group B of the qualifiers along with Australia, Jordan, Kuwait and Chinese Taipei.
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