India edge out Nepal in second friendly

India defeated Nepal 2-1 in the second match of the Nepal India friendly series at Dasharath Stadium on Sunday.

Farukh Haji Kasam Choudhary scored gave the lead for India in the 62nd minute before skipper Sunil Chhetri doubled the advantage in the 80th. Tej Tamang pulled one back in the 87th minute but could not find the equalizer.

Nepal was the better side in the first half and were guilty of multiple missed chances. Manish Dangi missed a glorious opportunity in the 13th minute when a deflected Tej Tamang cross was just out of his reach. Pujan Uperkoti skied another shot in the 22nd and when Ayush Ghalan whipped one from the left there was no one in the receiving end in the 28th.

Indian team came back stronger in the second half and began teasing the Nepali goalpost before Choudhary finally broke the deadlock. Chhetri doubled advantage came after one-vs-one against Nepali goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong.

Tamang's goal in the dying minutes was a thing of beauty. He latched a powerful right footed shot from outside the box with opposition goalkeeper could only watch the ball going into his net.

Indian team head coach Igor Stimac said the second game was much better than the first one. "Obviously one of the reasons for that is the better pitch," said Stimac. "We need to congratulate players from the both teams on their attitudes and their willingness to win the game. I need to appreciate my players as they were much more patient this time," Stimac added. "Waiting for the first goal to happen to open up Nepali defense and when that happens everything seems to be much easier," the coach said.

Nepali coach Abdullah Almutairi said it was a perfect game from his side. "We played perfect and controlled the game," said Almutairi. "We didn't finish our chances but as a team I am very happy and proud that everything is good."

Almutairi said the chances in players during the two matches was to ready all the players for SAFF Championship. "We won't have much time for recovery in the SAFF Championship. We must be ready 100 percent," said Almutairi.

The first match, played on September 2 in the same venue, ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Nepal to play two friendlies against Bangladesh

Nepali women's national team is set to play two friendlies against Bangladesh women's national team on September 9 and 12.

The matches will be played at Dasharath Stadium. Bangladesh women's team will arrive in Kathmandu on September 6 at 10:30 am for the matches.

The national women's team is preparing for the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup qualification. Nepal have been drawn alongside Philippines and Hong Kong in Group F for the tournament to be played in Uzbekistan.

Tickets for the matches have been priced at Rs 200 for normal parapet and Rs 500 for VIP parapet. Tickets can be bought from Prabhupay.

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ANFA holds workshop on league development

All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) on Friday held a workshop on league development at ANFA Complex in Satdobato.

Sunando Dhar, CEO of League in All India Football Federation (AIFF) gave a presentation on club licensing, structure of the leagues in India and the bio bubble due to the Covid pandemic in the workshop.

Representatives from all the A Division clubs participated in the workshop.

The workshop started with the opening session where ANFA General Secretary Indraman Tuladhar welcomed all the participants. ANFA President Karma Tsering Sherpa gave a token of love to Dhar and hoped the workshop would benefit Nepali football clubs and overall Nepali football.

Following the conclusion of the opening session, Dhar gave the presentation and also answered questions from the club representatives.

League Committee Coordinator Bigyan Raj Sharma addressed the closing session.

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Nepal India match ends in draw

Nepal played out an entertaining 1-1 draw against India in the first of the two friendly matches at Dasharath Stadium on Thursday.

Nitin Thapa made his debut for the senior team as Nepal took the lead in the first half through Anjan Bista but could not hold onto it as India bounced back.

Making amends for his earlier free-kick in the 32nd minute which he skied, Bista pounced on before Chinglensana Singh Konsham's back pass was met by rushing goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and scored into an empty net in the 36th minute. Both the teams had few other clear cut chances to score in the first half.

India bounced back in the second and levelled the game through Anirudh Thapa in the 60th minute. Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri's powerful left footed shot was punched by Nepali goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong only for Thapa to bundle it into the post.

Indian coach Igor Stimac said the poor pitch condition hampered the team's performance. "The whole team only had two training sessions together, Nepal had been preparing for this match for two months," said Stimac.

Nepali coach Abdullah Almutairi said they played well but still need to work on their mistakes. "I am proud of my players but we have to work more for our prime target which is the SAFF Championship," said Almutairi.

The second match will be played on September 5 at Dasharath Stadium.

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