SAFF Championship: Nepal strikers need to click against Pakistan


It is a do-or-die match for both the teams. One is Nepal who after their excellent display of football have become the contenders of the tournament. Another is Pakistan who have proved themselves by holding Bangladesh and Maldives in 2 successive games and keeping their chances alive.

Nepal, under coach Graham Roberts have played very attractive and slick football in both the matches creating chances. They had been unlucky in the 1st match against Maldives when the Maldives went ahead in the final minutes of HT against the run of play and they had to be content with a 1-1 draw. The likes of Rabin Shreshtha, Jumanu Rai, Anil Gurung and captain Sushil Thapa are creating all the opportunities possible. But their main concern should be poor conversion rate.

Nepal had to wait for a 95th minute super-goal to claim a win against Bangladesh. But one would agree that such goals cannot be scored every other day and Nepal need to convert the regular chances.

Pakistan on the other hand should be on a high. At the start of the tournament many thought they would be the favorite whipping boys in the group. But they held the top ranked team in the region Bangladesh to a goal-less draw in their 1st match, thanks to their dogged defending and fast counter-attacks.

But Maldives was a different ball-game. They had potential threats upfront in the form of highly rated Ashfaq and Thoriq who can convert half chances to goals. But Pakistani side looked even better against Maldives. Not only they defended their citadel under the leadership of goalkeeper Jaffar Khan who is arguably the best player in the Pakistani side, they also had created their chances to score winners. Once it was Adnan Farooq’s cross that was headed into the goal by Jadeed Khan Pathan from off-side. Another chance was when Shakir Lashari made an excellent run and after dodging the lone defender hit directly into goalkeepers hand. Then it was in 74th minute when Shakir provided a cross from the right of the box to the far post which found unmarked Husnain Abbas but his 1st touch let him down. So, a win was not far away from Pakistan.

So, with a semi-final spot at stake, there is an exciting game on the cards.




  1. Pakistan will take a 1-1 draw against this better Nepal side. They may not make it to Semis but i guess not losing any of the matches against better side must make them proud after they were whipped by Bangladesh recently in World cup qualifiers.

Leave a Reply