Nepal were downed 4-0 by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first match of the second round of World Cup 2026 Qualifiers in Dubai on Sunday.
Played at Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, UAE scored all the four goals in the first half against Nepal. Nepal put up an improved performance in the second half but were unable to find any goal.
UAE scored their first through Khalifa Mubarak's header in the 11th minute. Mubarak headed in Ali Saleh's cross from the corner. He evaded Sanish Shrestha's challenge and rose the highest to head the ball in.
UAE's attempt to double the lead in the 26th minute through Caio Canedo was foiled by Nepali custodian Kiran Chemjong.
But UAE soon doubled their advantage in the 36th minute when they were awarded with a penalty for a foul. Substitute Amrit Shrestha, who came in for injured Laken Limbu, fouled Adballa Ramadan inside the box prompting the referee to award UAE with the penalty.
Ali Mabkhout scored from the penalty kick beyond the stretching palms of Nepali keeper Chemjong. Mabkhout scored his second and UAE's third eight minutes after the second goal when Nepal failed to deal with UAE's set-piece allowing Mabkhout to head in.
UAE scored their fourth in the first added minute of the game when Fabio Lima was at the receiving end of Ramadan's cross and calmly put it into the net.
Nepal were a much better team in the second half and created few chances to their names but were unable to break the home team down.
Chhiring Lama's header in the 53rd minute was collected easily by UAE's goalkeeper Khalid Eissa. Anjan Bista had his shot in the 59th minute blocked by UAE defense before the best of the chances fell to Manish Dangi in the 81st minute when his goal bound shot from Hisub Thapaliya's header was palmed away by Eissa.
Nepal will now play their second match against Yemen at home on November 21. The match against Yemen will be played at 7 pm at Dasharath Stadium.
(Photo via: UAE FA)