KATHMANDU, June 18: Following 4-1 win over Bangladesh in its opening match of group D qualifiers of AFC U-22 Championship, high flying Nepal will take on Yemen in its second match at the Dasharath Stadium on Tuesday.
According to coach Krishna Thapa, the home team will eye no less than victory over gulf opponent Yemen dubbed comparatively a weaker team of the group.
Unlike Nepal, Yemen was defeated 4-0 by mighty Jordan, considered the strongest team of the group, during the curtain raiser on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Yemen´s Ethiopian coach Abraham Mebratu had said during pre-match conference that he respects every team of the group. "We´ll play carefully against all opponents and treat them equally," said Mebratu. "We have young and new boys in the team. They lack international exposure. However, we want to qualify for the final round."
Having already suffered a big margin defeat, Yemen will target a victory over Nepal. A victory over Nepal is likely to keep its dream afloat of qualifying for the next stage while a defeat will reduce its chance of qualifying into next stage.
Nepal could also strengthen its chance of moving into the next stage if its registers second win in a row while a draw or defeat is likely to be setback for the Nepali team´s dream of making into final of the maiden AFC age group tournament.
"We will play for a win against Yemen," Nepal´s coach Thapa said adding, "I saw their match against Jordan they have good team. The coordination and build up of Yemen is good. We should not underestimate them. Conceding early goals became setback for Yemen in their first match."
"We will come up with the same strategy we played against Bangladesh. We will try to score in the early moments of match. They are physically stronger than Nepal and it will be difficult for us to return in the match if we concede the first goal."
Looking at rankings of both the team, Nepal has an upper hand against Yemen. Nepal is ranked 149 and Yemen 159 in the FIFA rankings. Besides this, Nepal will also have home ground and local crowd advantage.
According to Thapa, there won´t be any changes in the starting line up of Nepali team. "I had planned to make some changes in the starting line up had we achieved heavy margin win over Bangladesh but there may not be change in the starting line up now," Thapa said adding, "We however, have good replacement in all the positions."
Thapa also vowed to come up with improved performance against Yemen. "The boys looked comparatively weaker in marking and ball possession. We will improve in those areas against Yemen."