Nepal end winless

July 19, 2017 - Two goals from Hassan Kourani saw Lebanon beat Nepal 2-0 in the final match of Group D qualification for the AFC U-23 Championship in Al Ain on Wednesday. Kourani opened before the half hour and added a second on 90 minutes in a match played entirely for pride after both sides had already crashed out with two defeats.

Kourani tapped in for Lebanon on 29 minutes after getting onto the end of Mohammad Kdouh’s cross, headed down by Hassan Hammoud.

He could have added another after the half hour after following up from Kdouh’s cross, spilled by Nepal keeper Alan Neupane. However his effort hit the crossbar.

Free-kicks from Nepal’s Sunil Bal and Gurung Heman both sailed just over after the break as the Gorkhalis looked for a way back.

But Lebanon continued to push, but Nepal keeper Neupane put in an inspired performance to deny copious attacks from The Cedars.

Lebanon keeper Mostafa Mata was also called upon with 10 minutes to spare to punch Bal’s screaming effort clear, as Nepal refused to give up hope in front of their vocal support who made up the majority of a 1,850 crowd.

But their hopes were dashed on 90 minutes when Kourani buried his second from Kdouh’s cross.

Raju Kaji Shakya (Nepal Coach)

“Today we played very good, everyday we showed improvement from the first game to the last. We had two or three really good chances and could have scored, we played really hard but it was very tough. Overall I’m happy with the improvement. Although we were knocked out I think we gained big experience for the next tournament."

Milic Curcic (Lebanon coach)

“I was satisfied with the first half, we had many chances and scored, but we needed to score more. I don’t know what happened in the second half, no one told them to defend, the agreement was to attack more.

 

“We hoped for more and wanted more, in football you always have a chance and we played to the end. But in my opinion Uzbekistan and the UAE were on a bigger level and our team made mistakes in those first two matches, if we hadn’t done, our chances would have been better. The best teams are going to China for sure.”