Wednesday, 19 January, 2022

Football team off to Australia

File Photo

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Oct 1: All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on Tuesday bid farewell to Nepal national football team for the away FIFA World Cup and Asia Cup joint qualification match against Australia.
The Dutch Coach Johan Kalin on Tuesday has announced 23-member final squad for the away match against Australia of the FIFA World Cup and Asia Cup joint qualification scheduled for 10th October.
Striker Nawayug Shrestha and defender Ajit Bhandari made a comeback in the team. Both of them Shrestha and Bhandari had failed to secure their spot against the Chinese Taipei match. Nawayug Shrestha has missed clashes against Kuwait and Chinese Taipei.
Shrestha missed the match against Kuwait after he suffered from a fever and he also failed to secure its spot at Chinese Taipei. Bhandari also unable to travelled Chinese Taipei after he was suffered from his leg injury during the match against Kuwait.
After the Australian battle, team Nepal will travelling to Jordan for their away match against Jordan which was scheduled to be held at Jordan in 15th October.
The head coach of the national team Kalin, included all 23-players who had secured their spot against Kuwait away match.
Nepal is at fourth spot in the group ‘B’ with three points from two matches. Nepal made its qualification journey with a bad note as they suffered 7-0 defeated at the hands of Kuwait in their opening match of the qualification in the 5th September. Nepal made a comeback in the qualification after they beat Chinese Taipei by 2-0 on 10th September at their home in their second match of the qualifiers.
Similarly, Kuwait is at the top of the standing with three points from one match and with an equal three points, Australia is at the second spot and Jordan is at third with equal three points from a match they played. Kuwait however is at top on the basis of better goal differences.
Nepal has been drawn into the group ‘B’ along with Australia, Kuwait, Jordan and Taiwan in the second phase of Qualifier being held under home and away format.
The Nepali team will train at the Sydney Academy for six days and leave for Canberra. During the six days stay at Sydney they will play couple of friendly matches with local clubs.
Australia are among the strongest teams in the group and have made to the World Cup Finals on five occasions: 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 1974. Australia had qualified for the Finals in Russia (2018) after winning their inter-continental playoff match against Honduras.
The group winners of all eight groups and four best runners-up among 40 teams will secure their berth at the AFC Asian Cup 2023 Finals in China as well as the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The remaining 24, except for the four bottom placed teams, who fail to pass the joint Qualifiers hurdle will have another shot at earning tickets to the AFC Asian Cup. The 24 teams will fight it out for another 12 berths for the Asian Cup.
National Sports Council (NSC) member secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal, All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) president Karma Chhiring Sherpa and others guests had jointly bade farewell to national football team.
Nepal national football team is travelling to Sydney on Wednesday evening.
The final squad are-
Goalkeepers: Kiran Chemjong, Bikesh Kuthu and Bishal Shrestha
Defenders: Saroj Dahal, Ajit Bhandari, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Ananta Tamang, Devendra Tamang, Rajin Dhimal and Suman Aryal.
Mid-fielders: Rohit Chand, Sunil Bal, Rabi Paswang, Anjan Bista, Sujal Shrestha, Heman Gurung, Bikram Lama, Tej Tamang, Santosh Tamang and Bishal Rai.
Forward: Bimal Gharti Magar, Abhishek Rijal and Nawayug Shrestha.