Sept. 7- A goal in the dying minutes of the game by Kiran Sunar gave Nepal a 1-1 draw against defending champions Uzbekistan in their opening group ‘C’ match in the AFC U-16 Championship at the Muangthong Stadium on Sunday.
Uzbekistan were leading with Kuchimov Jonibek’s goal till the last minute, but Sunar scored from Anjan Bista’s corner that had been flicked by Ananta Tamang in the 90+4 minute to save a point for Nepal.
Sunar was close to the post, when the ball came towards his path. He placed the ball beautifully on the top corner beyond keeper Khojdev’s reach.
Celebrations went wild in Nepali camp as the entire team was dejected by the team’s performance that looked lethargic through-out the match.
Nepal played without their skipper Bimal Gharti Magar and his absence was heavily felt as Nepal failed to make any attacks. Ananta Tamang had taken his role.
Uzbekistan scored in the 54th minute through a penalty that had been awarded for a tackle on Kenajev Islom by Ananta Tamang. Kuchimov Jonibek did the honours.
Nepal coach Bal Gopal Maharjan later commented that the penalty had been awarded for no reason. “ Even their players were shocked to see the referee giving the penalty,” said Maharjan. “ We were a little nervous in the first few minutes but we came back in the game later. We made some substitution and that worked. This point has motivated my players to do well because they came back from the jaws of defeat,” added Maharjan.
Uzbekistan coach Mochinov Alexander said that his team played aggressively in the early minutes and were exhausted towards the end. “ We conceded due to that. Nepal showed their strength that they can come back. Nepal displayed a strong performance” said Alexander.
Ananta Tamang was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
Ananta Tamang (Yellow)- 56'
Amit Tamang replaced by Sujit Gurung in 84 mins
Hemant Thapa Magar replaced by Sajok Rai in 46 mins
Bikash Thapa replaced by Anil Rai in 88 mins
Goal scored by Kiran Sunar- 84 mins