KATHMANDU: The Nepali national football team has forgotten to score a goal in recent years, but with another goalless draw, Nepal has reached the final of the Three Nations Cup on Saturday.
Nepal and Bangladesh played 0-0 in the last league match of the tournament. Nepal has not scored a goal in the last six matches against Bangladesh.
Nepal last scored two goals against Chinese Taipei in the World Cup qualifiers. Anjan Bista scored in the 62nd minute and Nepal has not scored a goal in 568 consecutive minutes since then. Nepal has failed to score in the last three consecutive games against Bangladesh. Nepal also played a goalless draw against Kyrgyzstan U-23 team.
After the current result, Nepal finished second with two points and reached the final. Bangladesh topped the table with four points and had already reached the final. It had beaten Kyrgyzstan in the first game. Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, were limited to one point from two games and finished last out of three teams in the tournament.
Nepal needed to at least avoid defeat to reach the final. Now, Nepal and Bangladesh will fight for the title on Monday.
In the first half of the match played at Dasharath Stadium, Nepal made its first attack. In the 21st minute, Tridev Gurung’s cross was just above Anjan Bista’s head post. In the 37th minute, Dinesh Rajbanshi cleared the goal line from just in front of the goal line.
Similarly, in the 40th minute, Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuya’s attractive free-kick from 30 yards came out from near the post. Nepal got off to an aggressive start in the first half with a goalless draw but Bangladesh managed to get back into the game. Both teams seemed to be trying to control the ball.
In the second half, both teams tried to attack but none of them proved decisive. Darshan Gurung’s header hit the crossbar in the 82nd minute of the match.
Debut of three players
Nepal did not make any change in the squad against Bangladesh. Meanwhile, midfielders Tridev Gurung and Sanjog Rai made their debut in the ‘starting lineup’ for Nepal. Nishan Khadka, on the other hand, made his debut as a substitute player. Bangladesh, on the other hand, changed their squad for the match against Kyrgyzstan.
Nepali team: Kiran Limbu, Ranjit Dhimal (Nishan Rai 71), Rohit Chand, Ananta Tamang, Dinesh Rajwanshi, Tridev Gurung, Tej Tamang, Sanjog Rai (Bishal Rai 55), Ravishankar Paswan (Sunil Bal 55), Anjan Bist (Eric Bist) 87), Abhishek Rijal (Darshan Gurung 71).
Yellow card: Ranjit Dhimal- 44 minutes
Referee: Tejas Nagbhenkar (India)
Assistant Referees: Anthony Ibrahim (India) and Parashuman Bhairamuthu (India)