Sabitra Bhandari's double helps Nepal to 2-2 draw against India

Nepal came from 2-0 down and scored two in two minutes to secure an entertaining 2-2 draw against India in the first friendly of the national women's team in Chennai on Wednesday.

India had scored two second half goals through Soumya Guguloth and Indumathi Kathiresan before Bhandari pulled one back from the penalty spot added another two minutes later.

The first half of the game saw both the sides missing opportunities to take the lead. Sandhiya Ranganathan's effort went wide in just the fourth minute before Rashmi Ghising's shot was saved by Indian goalie Aditi Chauhan.  Sabitra Bhandari also saw her shot go wide after the half-hour mark.

India was the better side in the start of the second half and took the lead through Guguloth in the 54th minute. Her shot bounced off the ground and went into the net over Nepali keeper Anjila Tumbapo. Kathiresan doubled the advantage in the 68th when she was at the end of a cross by Karthika Angamuthu.

Nepal looked for an inspiration from somewhere and found from a penalty towards the final few minutes of the regular time. Sweety Devi handled the ball inside the box and the resulting penalty was calmly slotted home by Bhandari in the 90th minute. Two minutes later, Bhandari took advantage of a defensive lapse and levelled the game.

Nepal could have scored a third and claimed the victory but Preeti Rai's left-footed shot in the added minutes sailed over the bar.

The two sides will meet again on February 18 for the second friendly.

(File photo)

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Preliminary squad for AFC U-20 Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers announced

The preliminary squad for the AFC U-20 Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers has been announced on Wednesday.

Head coach Yam Prasad Gurung announced his squad for the tournament to be held in Palestine. Nepal have been drawn alongside hosts Palestine, Northern Mariana Islands and UAE in Group B of the Qualifiers.

Gurung had led the U-20 national women's team in the SAFF U-20 Women's Championship in Bangladesh.


Goalkeepers: Kabita BK, Sabitri Kishan, Lila Joshi, Puja Thapa

Defenders: Sabina Chaudhary, Sajani Thokar, Saru Hamal, Sunita Bhulan, Divya Yasmalai Magar, Pratikshya Chaudhary, Kumari Tamang

Midfielders: Tulasa Bohara, Sarah Bajracharya, Sunkala Rai, Manmaya Damai, Preeti Rai (Captain), Anjali Machamasi, Saraswati Hamal, Deepa Shahi, Hima Rawat, Jenifer Rana

Forwards: Garima Rai, Amisha Karki, Mamata Pun, Sadipa Bholan

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ANFA President Nembang nominated Deputy Chairperson of AFC Development Committee

President of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) Pankaj Bikram Nembang has been nominated as the Deputy Chairperson of the Development Committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The Development Committee is an important committee of the AFC which underlines stronger support for Member Associations (MAs) and Regional Associations (RAs). It is responsible for providing services and other supports to enable MAs and RAs to run and develop football.

President Nembang has also been elected as the member of AFC Executive Committee in the 33rd AFC Congress in Bahrain.

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SAFF confirms Sports Partner International as the official commercial partner

The South Asian Football Federation’s executive committee meeting held virtually on 14 Feb 2023 has approved the tender bid of Sports Partner International for the marketing and commercial rights of the SAFF Championship.

The SAFF had published a notice inviting tender bids to acquire the rights of the SAFF Championship on 13 December 2022 and received the bid within the deadline on 16 January 2023.

As per the decision of the committee, the rights has been awarded for four editions till 2029, while the 2023 edition of the championship has been decided to be held in a centralized venue in India.

However, the venue for this edition of the championship would be confirmed by 10 March, as requested by the All India Football Federation.


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