KATHMANDU, March 28: Nepal suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Yemen on Tuesday in its last group stage match of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
Yemen got to a flying start with a superb goal from Abdul Wasea Al-Matari outside the danger area in the 24th minute, but the lead was cut short as Nawayug Shrestha equalized for Nepal in the first minute of the additional time towards the end of the first half. Matari bagged his brace as he converted the penalty in the 84th minute to give Yemen the lead again in the match.
With the win, Yemen has qualified for the Asian Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from January 5 to February 1 next year. In the other Group F match played on the same day, Philippines beat Tajikistan 2-1 to hold a tight grip and reach the Asian Cup as the group winners. Philippines has accumulated 12 points from six games, while Yemen finished as the runner-up with 10 points from the same number of games. Likewise, Tajikistan finished third with seven points and Nepal is at the bottom of the standings with two points.