Sports

Nepal take on Jordan today

  • AFC U-16 Championship qualifier
- BINOD PANDEY, Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)

Sep 16, 2015-

Nepal open their AFC U-16 Championship Qualifier with a match against Jordan here at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek on Tuesday.

The current squad is under tremendous pressure to emulate last edition’s success when skipper Bimal Gharti Magar-led team earned qualification in 2014 in Thailand. Apart from Jordan, Nepal play hosts Kyrgyzstan and Oman in Group B. “We have a pressure to at least match last time’s success and hope to achieve that this time too,” said coach and former Nepal skipper Upendra Man Singh. Eleven group winners and top four pool runners-up will secure tickets to the 2016 finals in India. Hosts India are also in the Qualifier but are already assured of the berth as host nation.

Coach Singh believes Nepal are in a tough group but still sees enough room to make it to the finals. “Each tournament will be tough but since it is an age-group event, the gulf between so-called big nations and the minnows is not that big,” said Singh. The Nepal coach in counting on the experience of his team that played in the Saff Under-16 Championship.

Jordan coach Abdullah Ketati also said that his side will fight for the qualification. “We respect all the opponents but our objective is to finish the group as winners,” said the Jordan coach. “While Kyrgyzstan and Oman are very tough opponents, we know very little about Nepal and so we have to be very cautious. Anything can happen tomorrow (Wednesday).

Like Nepal coach Singh, the Jordan coach also believed that there wasn’t a stark difference in terms of quality in the age-group teams. “You should be ready to face any outcome in such tournament,” said the Jordan coach adding that he was trying to learn about the Nepali team as much as possible. “We are searching for video footage and have got hold of some,” added the coach.

Nepal coach Singh said he will decide on the starting lineup on the match day. After Jordan, Nepal will play Kyrgyzstan on Sept 18 and Oman two days later.

Published: 16-09-2015 09:02

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