17 Dec, 2016 - Nepal registered a 1-0 win over Malaysia in the International Women's Friendly Match played at ANFA Complex, Satdobato on Saturday.
In a game which saw Nepal dominate the possession, Sabitra Bhandari's 27th minute goal was enough to settle the affair. Nepal were all over the Malaysia defense but excellent performance from teenager Nurul Azurin Mazlan kept the score line intact. Azurin made some fantastic saves to deny Nepal going further ahead.
Speaking after the match, Head Coach of the Malaysian team Mohd Asyraaf Abdullah said that Nepalese team were too strong. "We have played matches against Thailand and Myanmaar in our zone, and i must say i find these teams on level terms with Nepal. The team is balanced and in terms of quality, much better than ours.", he said. The coach was also happy with the performance of his debutant goalkeeper and said this will boost her in coming days. "Azurin had her first match today and with such performance in this age, i can say she can go long way. Along with her, we tried few new faces in the match and i am hopeful we can better this performance in coming days", he ended.
Victorious coach Kumar Thapa was happy to start off his duty at the helm with a win but said the Malaysian team lacked quality they thought of. "We could have easily scored two or three more but the goalkeeper was excellent today. To have such goalkeeper in Women's team is a really strong point.", he said. Speaking on the team setup, he said that the team is almost ready but didnt deny the possibility of one or two alternations for upcoming matches. "We almost have our set team but we can make few changes with a week in hand before our first match. So far, it was nice to have a friendly match ahead of tournament", he added.
Talking about the performances of debutants, coach Thapa said that the talent in store was showcased and he was happy to see them perform. "Some of the girls were nervous in the start but they played well. To have such experience before the torunament will help in moulding them in coming days.", he ended.
Goalscorer Sabitra Bhandari was happy to take her team past the winning line but said the team could do better. "It is very nice to have a friendly match before the tournament as it will help us settle. There are some points we can improve and i am hopeful we can overcome that in India", she ended.
- Subas Humagain, Kathmandu