Print Edition - 2014-09-12 | Sports
- Nepal out with 4-1 loss to DPR Korea; U-17 WC chance goes begging
Sep 11, 2014-
Nepal’s hopes of qualifying for the AFC U-16 Championship quarter-finals and ultimately the 2015 U-17 World Cup ended with a 4-1 drubbing by DPR Korea in their third Group ‘C’ match in Bangkok on Thursday.
Nepal needed just a draw to qualify for the last eight where one more win could have sealed them a place in the U-17 World Cup to be held next year in Chile. But the match at the Rajamangala Stadium was all but over in the first half after the 2010 champions took full advantage of a sloppy Nepali defense.
Nepal ended up third in the group with four points, while Uzbekistan (seven points) and North Korea (six points) made it through as pool winners and runners-up respectively. Uzbekistan defeated Kuwait 4-2 in their final group stage match, also on Thursday.
Choe Song-hyok scored a brace, while Jong Ju-song and Han Kwang-song struck one each in the Koreans’ comprehensive victory. Ananta Tamang scored the only goal from Nepal after the team was 2-0 down midway through the first half.
“The boys tried hard, but we were not successful,” Nepal’s coach Bal Gopal Maharjan told the-afc.com. “We didn’t play well in the first 20 minutes, but after that we were able to start to build. But we conceded silly goals and we were unable to follow our plan. We played well in the first two matches and maybe the players got excited about being able to qualify for the quarter-finals,” added the dejected coach.
North Korea took an early fourth minute lead when a curling freekick from Ju-song left Nepal custodian Roman Rasaili down and out. Nepal were close to levelling the scores when skipper Bimal Gharti Magar was fed at the area for a one-versus-one with North Korean keeper Ri Chol-song but the Anderlecht FC youth squad striker hit straight at the glovesman in the eighth minute.
The Koreans kept on piling pressure and doubled up their advantage in the 23rd minute when Song-hyok fired home from six yards following a defensive lapse from Amit Tamang. Three minutes later Ananta Tamang reduced the deficit converting Amit Tamang’s freekick with a glancing header.
However, North Korean regained the two-goal lead only a minute later with Kwan-song’s low shot from the edge of the area beating the outstretched Rasaili. Song-hyok then produced a fine diving header on a cross from Park Yong-gwan at the stroke of the half time leaving Nepal with a mountain to climb in the second half.
North Korea kept piling on pressure evenafter the resumption but Rasaili was still at his best denying the opponents on numerous occasions. Nepal, meanwhile, put a below-par performance unable to create any chance that could have threatened the North Koreans.
Published: 12-09-2014 09:28