SAFF Championship: Nepal reach final for the first time

KATHMANDU: Nepal reached the final of the SAFF Championship after coach Abdullah Almutairi’s men played a draw against Bangladesh on Wednesday.

This is the first time in 28 years that Nepal have reached the final of the SAFF Championship.

Nepal had to play at least a draw against Bangladesh to reach the final.

Nepal were under pressure after Bangladesh took the lead by scoring a goal in the 9th minute. But, Anjan Bista equalised in the 88th minute through penalty.

In the match played at the National Football Stadium in Male, Bangladesh were awarded a free kick after Nepal’s defender Gautam Shrestha made a bad tackle in the 8th minute.

Suman Reja put Bangladesh ahead by scoring with a header on a pass from Captain Jamal Bhuya in the 9th minute. Reja scored the goal taking the advantage of Nepali defender Dinesh Rajbansi’s weakness.

Nepal created a number of opportunities from the beginning but failed to convert them into goals.

Nepal, who defeated defending champion Maldives 1-0 in their first match of the tournament, hammered Sri Lanka 3-2 in their second match.

Read Also: Nepal made improvement in scoring after Almutairi takes leadership of nat’l football team

But, Nepal suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of India in their third match of the tournament.  Nepal reached the final after garnering one point by beating Bangladesh today.

The winner of today’s match between Maldives and India will play against Nepal in the final on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba congratulated Nepal national football team for securing a place in the final of the SAFF Championship for the first time.

 

 

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