Nehru Cup 2012: Nepal seeks revenge against Maldives

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Nepal football fansThe   South Asian rivals  Nepal and  Maldives are locked in a fascinating and intriguing   duel in the ongoing Nehru Cup football championship in New Delhi today.

The teams are evenly matched, and it will be interesting to see how they will duke it out. In recent years the two have developed a fierce rivalry.

Going by the head to head matchups between the teams, surprisingly, statistics   favor   Maldives. So far in the thirteen internationals played between the two national sides, the Islanders to their credit   have six wins and four draws.

Their most recent win against Nepal   was at the   AFC Challenge Cup held in Kathmandu early this year. Prior to   that, the two had played a 1-1 draw at the South Asian Football Federation(SAFF) Championship held in New Delhi last year.

For the second time this year the two teams   are on the brink   of   renewing   their   rivalry. Despite the Islanders late entry into international football, they have successfully carved a niche for themselves in South Asian football in a short span of time.

There is not much   to separate these   two teams   in terms   of skills, strengths, techniques and strategies.  There is no clear-cut   favorite, and   the game is wide open. Against Maldives, Nepal   was by far the better side in the 2011 SAFF  Championship    and should have been victorious.  Maldives, however, bounced back at the AFC Challenge Cup to stun the host by a solitary goal.


Maldives does have a psychological edge going against Nepal in today’s match, but Maldivian coach Istan Van Urbanyi   must hope that his   youthful squad is able to deliver the goods.
Maldives are sans some of their core players in the likes of  Ibrahim Fazeel, Adam Sameer, Mukhthaar Naseer and Ahmed Thoriq who are injured or have hung up  their boots. Coach Urbanyi did admit that his team was well short of a good preparation.
On the other hand, Nepal   cannot afford mediocrity   or   sloppiness. They have to start with a bang and gather momentum early. Coach Krishna Thapa knows deep down in his heart that his team has a realistic chance of beating   Maldives.
He   has virtually the same squad that played   with aplomb in the SAFF Championship last year. I   have  maintained all along that  the team  is young and full of  promise.
Team Nepal’s biggest weakness   is the attack line that has left a lot to be desired. Experienced   Jumanu, Santosh   and   Anil   for the most part have spearheaded the attack but with very limited success. They have lacked   finishing   touch, and their inability to score goals  has really hurt the team.
Once again   the   fortunes of the team in Nehru Cup will   largely hinge on their knack of   scoring   goals. Coach Thapa might start with Bharat, who has  proved he can score goals.
A strong  presence of  seasoned players in the likes of Raju, Nirajan, Bhola and Bharat in mid-field is bound to  bolster both  the attack line  and defense. Thetrio of  Sagar, Sandip  and Rohit provides solid cover to the defense . That said, Team Nepal will have to  play their very best to  succeed.
At the end of the day though, the  team that plays consistently and makes most of chances   stand  a chance to win.
The match will be live on Neo Prime 7:15pm NST. CLICK HERE for live streaming links.

11 COMMENTS

  1. We played 13 games againt Nepal, 6 wins, 4 drwas!
    Surely, the history is for us, will make the future for us too!
    We can see the man of steel ( Ashfaq) is playing stronger!
    We can stop Jumanu Rai! He is nothing for our defensive players!

  2. I am sure Nepal will perform better than before. We can’t afford to loose matches like this. I am really excited and good luck to both teams.:)

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