Sept. 21- Nepal ended their Asian Games campaign without a point in Group D after losing to Japan 4-0 at the Goyang Stadium on Sunday.
Pitted in one of the toughest groups alongside Asian powerhouses, Japan, Iraq and Kuwait, for Nepal the Asian Games was a preparation for the South Asian Football Federation Championship to be held in 2015.
Having lost both their previous matches against Iraq (4-0) and Kuwait (5-0), Nepal went into the match against Japan hoping to bag at least a point, whereas Japan needed a win with a heavy margin to qualify for the main round.
Going by the way of things in the first half -- with Japan leading 1-0 through Gakuto Notsuda’s 32nd minute goal -- it looked as if the one-way traffic which has been the condition in most of Nepal’s matches in this campaign would take a halt, but the second half turned out to be a one-way affair as Japan developed an unassailable lead, scoring in the 54th, 63rd and 71st minutes.
Of the three goals scored in the second half, Suzuki M scored brace in the 63rd and 71st minute, while Nakajima S. found the back of the net in the 54th minute.
Nepal’s best scoring chance in the game came in the 34th minute when Jagajeet Shrestha and Ashim Jung Karki combined well to deliver a tactical free-kick, which found Rohit Chand, but Chand’s effort went wide off the mark.
Nepal coach Jack Stefanowski started with Rabin Shrestha, Aditya Chaudhary, Rohit Chand, Asim Jung Karki, Jagjeet Shrestha, Bikram Lama, Sandip Rai, Bharat Khawas, Ranjit Dhimal, Sagar Thapa(C) and Bikesh Kutu(GK).
He used all his three substitutions in the second half sending in Ajit Bhndari in place of Bharat Khawas in the 64th minute, Heman Gurung in for Jagajeet Shrestha in the 74th minute and Amar Dangol in place of Ashim Jung Karki in the 80th minute.
Bikesh Kutu was at its best despite the four goals he conceded. The score-line could have been more empathic had it not been for lively performance.
Nepal were lucky to have a sizeable roaring supports in today’s match.