KATHMANDU, April 4: Nepal women national football team has started the Asian qualifier with a humbling 3-1 defeat against Myanmar women in the round 2 qualification for Asia Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, Tokyo, in the second group A match played at Mandalay in Myanmar on Wednesday.
Myanmar started in a dominant fashion synchronizing well in attacking fluidity creating regular chances throughout the first 20 minutes.
The home team opened the scoring in the 23rd minute in a mistake by defender Punam Jargha Magar.
Myanmar football player delivered a long ball into the Nepal’s penalty box through a direct free kick. Nepali defender Magar intercepted the cross coming in between the line of goalkeeper Anjila Subba.
But instead of clearing, she ended up putting the ball straight to feet of Ye Yee Oo, who charged at the penalty area converting a sublime 20 yards finish off a volley to give the home team a lead in the 23rd minute.
Nepal got a golden opportunity in the 45th minute initiated by Sabitra Bhandari’s dribbling and shooting.
Bhandari’s attempt was half cleared by Myanmar goalie May Zin as Bhandari got hold of the possession and released the ball to charging in Dipa Rai who then passed to Niru Thapa who could only hit the wood work.
However, utilizing the only added minute of stoppage time, Nepal finished the first half on 1-1. Anita Basnet registered the goal to her name.
The celebrations did not last long for the visiting team as Myanmar’s Win Theingi scored the second goal from the spot to put home team in lead again.
Nepal’s Gita Rana was guilty of the foul conceding a penalty which allowed Maynmar score the second goal.
Yee Oo continued to terrorize the Nepal defense slightly missing a great chance in the 65th minute.
The home team got a corner but Nepali goalie Subba made a crucial save. Yee Oo finally completed her brace in the third minute of stoppage time utilizing a blunder by Subba who couldn’t hold on to a cross attempted from wing.
Earlier in another match, India women defeated Indonesia 2-0. Nepal will face India on April 6 in its second group game of the qualifying league.
Similarly, Myanmar will host Indonesia on the same day.
The 5th edition of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the quadrennial international football competition is organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to select women national teams from Asia for the Olympic football tournament.
The top two teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics women’s football tournament in Japan as the AFC representatives, together with Japan which is already qualified for the Olympics as the host nation.