Nepal to play friendly against India

Published On: May 17, 2017 09:50 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, May 17: Nepal's national football team is set to play a friendly match against India on June 6 in Mumbai. Nepal and India, which are currently preparing for their upcoming AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers, will meet at Mumbai Football Arena of Andheri Sports Complex of Mumbai. 

According to All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), All India Football Federation (AIFA) had approached for the friendly which Nepali football governing body accepted.  

Meanwhile Indian media have claimed that AIFA approached Nepal for a friendly match after pre-planned friendly against Lebanon scheduled for June 7 was cancelled due to issues in obtaining visas for the Lebanese squad. 

However ANFA has expressed its hope that the friendly match ahead of Asian Cup qualifiers would be fruitful for the national team. Nepal had started the AFC Asian Qualifiers facing 1-4 defeat at the hands of the Philippines in the away match while India made a positive start beating Myanmar 1-0 in Yangon. Now, Nepal will take on Yemen in the home match on June 13 while India will face Kyrgyz Republic in Banglore on the same day. 

Meanwhile, Nepali head coach Gyotoki Koji has already started preparations for the match against Yemen as the squad is in training since the last two weeks. Japanese coach has called up 32 players in the training, out of which Rabin Shrestha, Rohit Chand and Kiran Kumar Limbu are yet to attend. Fullback Rabin is currently in rest due to injury while Kiran and Rohit are in the Maldives and Indonesia respectively playing professional leagues. 

Nepal which is ranked 170th in FIFA ranking has poor record against its 100th ranked arch rival India, facing 13 defeats out of 19 matches. Nepal has registered just three wins against India and three matches have ended in draws. In all those 19 encounters, India has scored 32 goals while Nepal has replied just eight goals. 

Nepal's last win against India came in the 8th SAFF Championship 2013 held in Kathmandu where Anil Gurung and Jumanu Rai had scored one goal each for the home team. These two South Asian sides had met last time in the group stage match of SAFF Championship 2015 held at Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala, which Nepal lost 1-4. 

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