- Posted September 9, 2013 by
Wasteful nepal go down to Afghanistan
Nepal blues against Afghanistan continued at home this time as well when Sanjdar Ahmadi’s only goal proved to be enough for Afghans to secure their consecutive final berth upon the expense of Nepal—the repeat of the last edition’s result in New Delhi.
“This is a very disappointing moment,” said agonised Nepal coach Jack Stefanowski. “We had our chances but failed to make a comeback. We had an unlucky night.”
“The pain is incomparable. But we have to compensate our misery now with our triumph against India—the major achievement of the tournament.
“We had a good tournament so far. We should not be harsh upon players for their mistakes as this is the part of the game,” he requested.
When inquired about possibilities of resigning from the post after failing to abide by his stance of establishing Nepal as the top team of South Asia, deflated coach kept his numb.
Jumanu Gurung was given the regular start in place of Jagjeet Shrestha after the latter had failed to recover from his knee injury.
Nepal made a bright start in the raucous full-packed stadium with Bharat Khawas testing opponent goalkeeper Mansur Fagiryar in the very first minute only to be directed for a corner.
Sandip Rai tried to catch Fagiryar off guard in the ninth minute hoping to punish him for leaving his area with a quick chip from the centre line but the latter recovered his way back to avert the danger.
Ahmadi put Afghanistan front in the five minutes later by simply tapping home from the close range after ‘keeper Chemjong had spill out Amiruddin Mohammad Anwar cross from his grip.
After trailing, Nepal stepped up to pile relentless pressure upon Afghanistan who enjoying physical superiority and height advantage weathered Nepal’s torrent of attack.
Nepal had a brilliant chance to equalise a minute before the break with Khawas sending in a cross towards the second post with Gurung and Rai in the box but Fariqyar tipped it for a corner.
Bimal Gharti Magar was substituted with Raju Tamang after the hour mark, and the teenager, who scored the equaliser against Pakistan, instantly impressed, sending a left-footer scorcher that whisked past the post. Anil Gurung tried to nod in Sandip Rai’s pensive free-kick a minute later but it missed target by smallest fraction.
Afghanistan, so far bearing Nepal’s assault, were dealt with another blow when Farzad Ghulam Muhaiuddin had to be driven off in ambulance in the 69th minute after colliding with Bharat Khawas in an attempt to clear corner.
Nepal were awarded spot kick four minutes before time after man-of-the-match Fagiryar had tripped-down Gharti Magar inside the area.
The drama ensued when Rohit Chand’s futile consecutive penalty attempts were denied by Fagiryar.
Chand got a second chance to improve his spot-kick after the first saved penalty was declined by match referee suspecting trespassing from Afghani players. Afghani coach Yousef Kargar expressed his dissatisfaction about the penalty awarded but praised the hosts for their fighting game.
Defending champions India will challenge Maldives in the second semi-final on Monday to meet Afghanistan in the Wednesday’s final.