Sports

Nepali eves in int’l arena

- RAJU GHISING, KATHMANDU
Nepali eves in int’l arena

Sep 4, 2012-

Nepali women national team will be heading to Sri Lanka on Tuesday for the South Asian Women’s Football Championship that kicks off on Friday. This is Nepal’s seventh appearance in the major international football competitions since the country’s women team made their debut at the Asian Cup in Hong Kong in 1986. Here is a low down on Nepal women team’s performances in the previous competitions.

Asian Cup 1986: Nepal made their international debut under captain Rama Singh. A 16-member squad, selected from the National Games in Illam, flew out to Hong Kong after a short 15-day camp. The result was not at all bad for a beginner: Hong Kong 1, Nepal  0.

“It was the first time many of us were travelling on a jet plane. We had a match the very next day. Although we lost to the hosts, we did exceptionally well, considering that it was our first ever international game,” recalls Khem Gurung, the team coach at the time. After what could be termed a commendable start, heavy defeats ensued as Nepal lost 5-0 to Thailand and 6-0 to Indonesia.

Asian Cup 1989: Hong Kong played host to the event again. Hopes were high that Nepal would better on their last performance, but it was not be. Nepal lost all three group matches, including a humiliating 14-0 defeat at the hands of Japan.

Asian Cup 1999: Nepal returned to the championship after a 10-year hiatus when it was held in the Philippine capital Manila. The team, playing under new captain Mira Chaudhary, fared no better. Having lost the first two matches 5-0, to the home team and Thailand, Nepal suffered a morale sapping 14-0 defeat at the hands of Japan before going down 6-1 to Uzbekistan.

U-19 Championship 2004: The U-19 championship in China has been Nepal’s worst ever performance. A nightmarish 19-0 loss to North Korea in the opening game was followed by 6-1 and 4-1 defeats to Thailand and Uzbekistan respectively.

SAG 2010: By this time, it was there for everybody to see that the Asian Championship was beyond Nepal’s reach. The South Asian level was the only arena where the country could make their mark. The South Asian Games in Dhaka introduced football and Nepal duly obliged. After a 1-0 opening victory over the hosts, Nepal ran riot with a 7-0 win against Pakistan and an 8-0 win over Sri Lanka. But Nepal’s amazing run in the round robin was halted by a 5-0 loss to India. The two teams renewed their acquaintances in the final where Nepal gave a better account of themselves but India walked away with a 3-1.

SAWF Championship 2010: Dhaka had been a happy hunting ground for Nepali earlier in year. And expectedly, Nepal’s juggernaut rolled on with facile wins over Maldives (6-0), Afghanistan (13-0), Pakistan (12-0) and Bangladesh (3-0) on the way to the final. But Nepal again proved a bridesmaid to India, who claimed the title with a 1-0 victory in the summit clash.

 

 

Published: 04-09-2012 08:53

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