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Five Talking Points From Nepal U16 vs India U16
Sep 24, 2017 08:53:47 PM - Five Talking Points From Nepal U16 vs India U16

Nepal U-16 paved a difficult path for their qualification after playing a 2-2 draw against India U16 on Friday.


Despite taking lead in the 76th minute, Nepal couldn’t protect it as they conceded 2 goals in span of 3 minutes and went down in the 85th minute. Birjesh Chaudhay scored his second goal in the 88th minute to rescue a point for the young Gorkhalis.

Here are five talking points from the match:

1.    Goalkeeping:
Nepal’s goalkeeping hasn’t been to the limit in both the games. Nepal’s stopper Bishal Sunar couldn’t save substitute Harpreet’s shot from 40 yards, in the 85th minute and Nepal went 2-1 down in the game. He was out of his position and found the shot too powerful to handle. Luckily, Birjesh Chaudhary was able to grab his second goal in the 88th minute and save the day for Nepal. In the previous game also, Bishal made a goalkeeping blunder allowing Iraq to take all three points. Coach Sunil Shrestha has made it clear that any goalkeeping/defensive mistake can cost them the match. Besides, that very goal was the whole turning point of the match against India.

2.    Attacking:
Although Nepal were able to score two beautiful goals, their attacking was not satisfactory, as a whole. Despite creating many goal scoring chances, they were not able to score as many goals. Nepal should seriously work on their finishing. Striker Birjesh Chaudhary was promising, scoring two beautiful goals. The other attackers in the team should also perform similarly. We hope to see goals from other players too.

3.    Gameplay:
The only good point from the match is Nepal’s gameplay. Coach Sunil Shrestha said that his boys are improving day by day, and we saw that too. His ‘all attack’ strategy worked well against the blue tigers. Nepal played a better game against India compared to their first game with Iraq. Even the Indian coach Bibiano Fernandes praised Nepal’s performance. We hope to see similar performance against Palestine, tomorrow.  

4.    Fitness:
Nepal’s fitness has long been a talking point. The players were clearly out of energy in the last quarter. Their performance faded with tired legs, and they conceded goals in 83rd and 85th minute. Star defender Sanjib Aryal was replaced just after 35 minutes, with some injury concern. As a matter of fact, they had to play 2 games in 4 days and this might be the factor affecting their fitness. Indian coach Bibiano Fernandes has also mentioned that it is physically challenging to play 3 matches in just 5 days.

5.    Qualifying Hopes:
Nepal were able to keep their qualifying hopes alive despite failing to take all three points from the game. Nepal can still qualify for the AFC U16 Championship Malaysia 2018 as best runner-ups. For that, Nepal must win tomorrow’s game against Palestine by 4 or more goals and Iraq must beat India. Five best runner-ups along with ten group winners will qualify for the championship.

Nepal rank 3rd in the group D. Iraq lead the group with 6 points after winning their both games, while India rank 2nd with 4 points. Palestine are rock bottom in the group failing to collect any points.

Nepal will face Palestine, and Iraq will play India in the final fixtures of AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers 2017, on September 24.

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