August 24, 2017 07:23 AM NPT
Indian’s Vikram Pratap Singh and Nepal’s Sanjib Aryal vie for the ball during a SAFF U-15 championship group stage football match at the ANFA Complex in Satdobato, Lalitpur, on Wednesday.
KATHMANDU, August 24: Nepal suffered 2-1 defeat in its last group match of the ongoing SAFF U-15 Championship, held at ANFA Complex, Satdobato, on Wednesday.
With a win over home team Nepal, India became the winner of group B with six points from two matches. It will now play the semifinal against group A runner-up Bhutan.
Nepal, which had already secured its semifinal berth, will now take on group A winner Bangladesh.
The semifinal match between India and Bhutan will be played at Halchowk stadium on Friday. The other last-four clash between Nepal and Bangladesh will be held at ANFA Complex on the same day.
Vikram Pratap singh and Ravi Bahadur Rana scored one goal each for the Indian team while Roshan Rana Magar replied for the home team.
Nepal’s Coach Sunil Kumar Shrestha pointed out poor coordination between the goalkeeper and the defense as the reason behind the conceded goals.
“We conceded the goals due to our mistakes. There was no proper coordination between the goalkeeper and the defense,” Shrestha said.
He also said that the midfield couldn’t play as per the plan. “Midfielders couldn’t hold the ball properly in the match. They were unable to play as per the strategy,” added Shrestha.
“Since the semifinal match against Bangladesh is going to be very tough, we have many areas to improve.”
India took a lead in the match with striker Singh scoring an opening goal in the 27th minute. However, Nepal came back into the match in the 41st minute with skipper Magar scoring the equalizer through the spot. Nepal was given spot kick after Sishir Lekhi was fouled by Indian defender Moirangthem Thoiba Singh in the danger zone. India started the second half strongly, creating plenty of the chances against Nepali team.
India extended its lead by 2-1 in the 64th minute after Ravi Bahadur Rana scored a brilliant header utilizing a cross from Givson Singh.
Meanwhile, Indian coach Bibiano Fernandes said that Nepal displayed improved performance than their last match against Maldives. He also said that he was hoping to face home team Nepal in the summit clash.
“It was very tough match as Nepal played very well. Especially in the second half, home team players gave us much pressure,” said Fernandes. He also said that his team will have to improve their performance against Bhutan to secure a place in the final.