Nepal U-23 football team pose for a group photo prior to their AFC U-23 Championship 2018 Qualifiers match against Lebanon in the United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday.
KATHMANDU, July 20: The Nepal U-23 football team wrapped up its AFC U-23 Championship 2018 Qualifiers with a 2-0 defeat to Lebanon on Wednesday.
It was the third defeat in a row for the Nepali youth side in the competition as it had faced 5-0 and 2-0 defeats against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uzbekistan, respectively, in the earlier Group D matches.
Winless Nepal which failed to score even a single goal, finished the qualifiers staying at the bottom of Group D while Uzbekistan qualified for the final round of the championship to be held in China next year.
To book its place in the final round as the group runner-up accumulating nine points, Uzbekistan registered a 2-0 win over home team UAE in its last group stage clash.
In the match played at Tahnon Bin Mohamed Stadium, Al Ain, Hassan Kourani scored Lebanon’s both goals to beat Nepal comfortably. Midfielder Kourani put the Lebnani side ahead, scoring the opener in the 29th minute and made it 2-0 in the 90th minute.
Head coach Raju Kaji Shakya made two changes in the team against Lebanon with Sanjok Rai coming in as the replacement for Anjan Bista who was suspended due to double yellow cards while attacking midfielder Sunil Bal was given a chance over central midfielder Pujan Uparkoti.
Meanwhile, Nepal continued its winless form in the U-23 championship qualifiers failing to register any win in the UAE. In the qualifiers of the first edition of the championship held in Iran, Nepal had failed to produce even a single win, conceding 17 goals without scoring a single goal.