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POST TIME: 7 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Nepal strongly bounce back in second match
Sports Reporter

Nepal strongly bounce back in second match

Bhutan goalkeeper Tshering Dendup advances forward in a bid to foil a Sunil Bal (L) goal attempt during their SAFF Suzuki Cup at Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital yesterday. Courtesy photo

Nepal strongly bounced back in their second match thumping Bhutan by 4-0 to keep their hopes high to move into the semifinals of the  SAFF Suzuki Cup Football Championship.

Held at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Nepal earned a deserving 4-0 victory over Bhutan with Ananta Tamang, Sunil Bal, Bharat Khawaj and Niranjan Khadka scoring apiece.         

Nepal and Bhutan, who could not taste the SAFF Championship title once ever since it’s last edition and not even claimed the runners-up position, were underdogs in the regional top competition, had two options on the day to win or at least a draw to remain in contest to cross the group phase hurdle, as Bhutan went down to Bangladesh by 2-0 and Nepal suffered 1-2 defeat to Pakistan.

Nepal, who were unlucky to suffer a fighting 1-2 defeat to Pakistan after conceding a goal just a minute before the final whistle of the match, looked very aggressive on the day and to put the opponents under huge pressure and also open three scoring chances inside 20 minutes and converted one.  

Rohit Chand and Anjan Bista could have taken lead in the very early hour but both of them were not sharp to mark the target being in advantageous position inside the box when Bimol Gharti Magar provided crossings.

However, from a enormous Nepal lifted first goal on 21st minute through Ananta Tamang when the defender rushed into the Bhutan danger area during a corner kick from Sunil Bal, powered his header into the top corner of the near post being surrounded by number of defenders (1-0).

After a solitary goal lead, Nepal became more hostile from the beginning of the second half and increased three more goals.  This time Bhutan defender Nima Wangdi tackled Niranjan Khadka from behind inside the box and Indian referee called for a penalty but Bhutanese goalkeeper though denied the spot kick from Bimal Gharti Magar, could not keep the ball in his grip and Sunil Bal, who assisted the first goal took the advantage to send the ball into near post (2-0).

Bharat Khawaj, the veteran forward of Nepal made the tally 3-0 just after coming for changing of Anjan Bista when the experienced booter proved his skills scoring a nice goal with an angular shot on 79th minute (3-0).  Sunil Bal, who assisted the first goal to lead the team and doubled advantage scoring himself one, paved way for Niranjan Khadka to enlarge margin for 4-0 from another set piece on 88th minute.