Nepal crash out, Iraq qualify
- afc u-16 championship qualifiers 2018
Sep 25, 2017-
Nepal finished bottom of the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 qualifying tournament with a 2-1 loss against Palestine at the Halchowk grounds on Sunday.
The Group ‘D’ last game was rendered meaningless due to the earlier fixture between Iraq and India who played a goalless draw. Iraq qualified for the Finals to be held in Malaysia next year. India finished second with five points, two behind the defending champions.
India’s qualification fate, however, will only be decided on September 29 following the conclusion of Group ‘H’ of the qualifiers in Yangon, Myan-mar.
As it stand, India’s took four points from the other top two other teams in consideratioin: three from Palestine win and one from Iraq draw.
Had Nepal finished third with a victory. India would have taken just two points--one each from draws with Iraq and the hosts--and out of the qualifying race.
Nepal appeared to be on the offence from the onset with Randip Paudel denied by a Palestine defender early in the seventh minute.
Birjesh Chaudhary gave Nepal the lead in the 10th minute, scoring from the spot. The home team won the penalty after Ale Rabel brought down Akash Budha Magar.
Palestine levelled the scores in the 28th minute when Mahmoud Wridat barged into the area, cut past Nepal goalkeeper Bishal Sunar to score in an empty post.
Palestine went ahead in the 75th minute as Mahmoud Wridat beat two defenders inside the area and shot past Nepal goalie Sunar.
Palestine coach Yahya Jalayta said his young guns played with high spirit and losing two matches. “We were finally managed to register a victory .
“We were here with a goal to qualify for the Finals but we are disappointed for not being able to give joy to the Palestinian people back home,” said Jalayta. Jalayta also said he was dismayed to see Nepal play in such a high speed and intensity. “They are technically sound and have a very bright future.”
Nepal coach Sunil Shrestha termed the game as the worst among their three matches. “We lost against the team we had picked out as the weakest one,” said Shrestha. “Barring today, my boys gave their 100 percent. The boys were burnt out after playing with high intensity in two matches.”
Earlier, Iraq qualified for the Finals with a goalless draw against India. Bekey Oram squandered a chance for India early in the sixth minute as with only Iraqi goalkeeper to beat the forward shot straight into the hands of Mohammed Hasan Al-Hama-dani.
Iraq thought they got the lead in the 23rd minute when Ahmed Abdullah Dari Gul found the back of the net but his effort was ruled as offside.
Iraq kept pressing for a goal and they came close to scoring in the 28th minute only for Murtafa Irmayyidh Muhi’s shot to be blocked by Indian goalkeeper Lalbiakhula Jongte. India survived yet another onslaught in the 72nd minute when Sajid Abbas Al-Lami blasted wide a rebound that came off a defender from Shanan strike.
Iraq coach Ali Hadi Mohsin said they achieved their goal to qualify for the Finals. “As expected India played really well as they have quality players,” said Mohsin adding that they now have one year to strengthen their squad for the Finals.
Mohsin’s Indian counterpart Bibiano Fernandes said he has no complaint with his players. “They were phenomenal. We needed victory to top the group but the defending champions played true to their billings. We still have a chance to qualify”
Team P W D L GF GA Pts
Iraq 3 2 1 0 5 0 7
India 3 1 2 0 5 2 5
Palestine 3 1 0 2 2 8 3
Nepal 3 0 1 2 3 5 1
Published: 25-09-2017 08:52