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Five Talking Points From Nepal vs Tajikistan Match
Sep 7, 2017 11:31:30 AM - Five Talking Points From Nepal vs Tajikistan Match
Dipesh Adhikari

Nepal’s dream of qualifying in AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 took a wrong turn when they were defeated 2-1 by Tajikistan in their third match of AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers at Anfa Complex, Satdobato, on Tuesday.

Dzhalilov Manuchehr and Vasiev Dilshod scored apiece for Tajikistan while substitute Bimal Gharti Magar pulled one back for Nepal.

Here are the five talking points from the Nepal vs Tajikistan:

1.Game plan and Line-up:

Nepal’s performance against Tajikistan was nowhere near satisfactory. The strategy and game plan went all wrong for team Nepal. National team coach Gyotuku Koji said that the players couldn’t stick to his strategy and game plan, formulated against the opponents. Also, the 4-4-2 formation and line up didn’t favor the Gorkhalis as they conceded two goals inside first 30 minutes. Substitute Bimal Gharti Magar put a promising performance after coming off from the bench in place of Nawayug Shrestha. Had he started the match, Nepal’s attack in the first half would have been better.


Nepal’s defense has always remained an issue of concern. Both of the goals they conceded were due to silly defensive errors. The defense plays a vital role in determining the team’s performance and Nepal had a poor defensive display against Tajikistan. They failed to clear away the ball and conceded two simple goals, as a result. Skipper Biraj Maharjan and Rohit Chand’s performance was also below the expectations.   

3.Fitness and Ball Control:

Nepal showcased a full energy display for the first 10 minutes but their performance faded with tiredness, then after. Team spirit and confidence also faded away with the tired legs. Ball Control is another field where Nepal need to focus on as they lost their possession due to poor control. Anjan Bista, Bimal Gharti Magar and Prince George Karki showed some good feet but gave away the ball.

4.Qualifying Chances:

Nepal paved a difficult path in the qualification after losing their home game against Tajikistan. They are in the bottom of the table with just a point after 3 games. The Gorkhalis need to win their upcoming matches in order to keep their qualifying hopes alive. Nepal has never played in AFC Asian Cup before.

5.Opportunity to rectify mistakes:

Every game provides an opportunity to know the mistakes and weaknesses. Nepal can learn from its mistakes and rectify the errors before heading to Tajikistan to play the second leg match, on October 10. We hope to see a better performance with improved defense and attack in the upcoming games.

Nepal remain in the bottom of Group F with just one point while Tajikistan has climbed to 3rd place with 3 points. Philippines lead the group with 7 points and Yemen are group runner-ups with 5 points. Group winners and runner-ups will be qualified for AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.

There are still 3 second leg matches to be played in the qualifying. Nepal need to rectify their mistakes and win the upcoming games if they are to achieve their dream of playing AFC Asian Cup, for the first time in history.
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