KATHMANDU, June 18: Host Nepal slumped to 1-0 defeat against Yemen on Monday in the group D qualifiers of AFC U-22 Championship being held at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.
Yemen took advantage of loose marking by Nepali defenders to score the match decider. Defender Sadam Hussain tapped in from the six yard box in a short pass of Essam Al-Worafi to stun the home fans in the 29th minute.
"We conceded easy goal due to lack of understanding among defenders," Nepal´s coach Krishna Thapa said during the post match conference.
Nepal defeated neighbor Bangladesh 4-1 while Yemen went down 4-0 against Jordan in their first matches on Saturday.
In the competitive match, both the teams created only a couple of scoring chances. In the 14th minute, Sujal Shrestha´s bouncing header went inches wide from the post. Yemen´s first attack on goal came in the 21st minute, when skipper Yaser Al-Shaibani´s freekick from the edge rebounded off the bar. But Yemen scored in their second attempt on goal eight minutes later.
Nepal failed to create any other scoring chances before the interval. Five minutes after the interval, Rohit Chand´s 25-yard freekick deflected out after hitting the bar. In the 66th minute, Rohit Chand´s goal bound header from the area, rebounded off teammate Jagjeet Shrestha´s body changing the course of ball.
Despite his side´s defeat, Nepal´s coach Thapa lauded his team´s performance. "Though the result was different than expectation, the boys put up good show with great effort. Though there was some problem in finishing I am happy with the team´s performance," Thapa said adding that his skipper Bharat Khaws failed to score due to tight marking of the opponents.
Following his side´s first victory, Yemen´s Ethiopian coach Abraham Mebraut said that the victory was result of strategic change from the game against Jordan. "Now we still have hopes to qualify for final round," Mebraut said. "Both teams performed very well. We have young players and they are playing in front of such a crowd for the first time."
Nepal will take on Uzbekistan in its next match on Wednesday and Jordan will play against Bangladesh.
Uzbekistan beat Bangladesh
In the day´s first match, Uzbekistan started its campaign on a winning note handing Bangladesh its second defeat in a row. Uzbekistan defeated Bangladesh 2-1 with goals in either half.
In the one sided affair, Uzbekistan opened scoring in the 40th minute when unmarked Smolyachenko Pavel headed in Ergashov Eldor cross to put the team in charge.
However, Bangladesh leveled scoring 10 minutes into second half through spotkick taken by Md Emon Hahmud after Uzbek defender Fayziyev Shezod handled ball in the area.
Uzbekistan again restored its lead in the 74th minute through a low ball freekick. Gadoev Shohruh´s freekick entered net despite Bangladesh goalie Md Sahidul Alam getting his hand on it.
Bangladesh came up with defensive strategy from the beginning and remained busy resisting opponents in the entire match.
Nepali skipper Bharat Khawas (Blue) struggles for ball.(Photo: Bikash Karki)