KATHMANDU, Nov 12: Nepal has advanced to the final of the AFC Solidarity Cup defeating Laos 3-0 in a penalty shootout at Negari Stadium in Kuching, Malaysia on Saturday.
The match was pushed to a penalty shootout after a 2-2 stalemate in the added time.
Nepal had all three shots converted in the spot kick as Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama and Sujal Shrestha all scored consecutively. Kiran Chemjong saved first two attempts, each from Bounlien Bounpachack and Sitthideth Khanthavong. Chanthaphone Waenvongsoth's shot went off target, which confirmed Nepal's victory.
Earlier, Xaisongkham Champathong scored a header in the 18’ to give Laos an early lead, but Bimal Gharti Magar equalized just after the first half break with a glancing header.
The match entered into extra time after no additional goal was scored. Ananta Tamang scored in the 104’ minute to give Nepal a crucial lead. Champathong scored a brace in the 117’ to equalize for Laos.
After the match, Nepal’s Coach Gyotoku Koji expressed his happiness over the victory and said that this was result of a combined effort from the players and the officials.
"I came to here to develop the football and I think this victory has sent a message that lots of positive news are to follow," he said.
Speaking about the heroics of the goalkeeper, he said that the shootout is all about luck and Nepal won their luck with hard work.
"Kiran made good save in shootout but he had a day off in regulation time. I am happy that he amended the mistake and took us past the finish line", he added.