KATHMANDU, Aug 22: Nepal´s national football team is determined to avenge its defeat against Maldives suffered at home during the AFC Challenge Cup when the two teams meet during the Nehru Cup in New Delhi, India.
Nepali national team skipper Sagar Thapa made such remarks during a farewell organized for the team in the capital on Tuesday. The tournament will begin on Wednesday while Nepal is scheduled to lock horns with Maldives on Thursday. "We will try to avenge our defeat against Maldives. We will play for victory," Thapa said.
"Everyone has expected good results from us and we will try to fulfill the expectations," Thapa said, adding, "It is difficult to reach the final but not impossible."
Meanwhile, coach Krishna Thapa reiterated that his side has eyed no less than the final. "Our target is to defeat India and Maldives and hold Cameroon and Syria to draws," Thapa said, adding that he was satisfied with the training. However, Nepal could train only for two weeks for the tournament.
Top two teams of the event to be held in round robin formant will play for the title. Altogether five teams are vying for the title.
National Sports Council Member Secretary Yuvaraj Lama lauded All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) as the most active sports association of the country. He, however, said that Nepali football fans have been complaining of Nepal´s goal drought in international tournaments. "Despite activities throughout the year, football fans have been complaining of the national team´s failure to score goals in international tournaments," Lama said, adding, "I am confident that you will end the goal drought this time round."
ANFA President Ganesh Thapa said that there were no big expectations against Syria and Cameroon but stressed on victory against India and the Maldives. "Our competition will be against India and the Maldives. It will be an achievement if we beat them," Thapa said.
Thapa refuted that Nepali team´s quality was degrading. "We have held Jordan to a draw. The quality has not degraded."
Nepal´s Fixtures: Aug 23 Nepal vs Maldives Aug 26 Nepal vs Cameroon Aug 28 Nepal vs India Aug 30 Nepal vs Syria Sept 2 Final
Nepali team Goalkeepers: Kiran Chemjong, Ritesh Thapa, Bikesh Kuthu Defenders: Sagar Thapa, Sandeep Rai, Rohit Chand, Bikas Singh Chhetri, Sabindra Shrestha, Biraj Maharjan Midfielders: Raju Tamang, Nirajan Khadka, Rupesh KC, Bhola Silwal, Anil Ojha, Bijay Gurung, Jagjeet Shrestha, Sujal Shrestha Forwards: Bharat Khawas, Santosh Sahukhala, Anil Gurung, Jumanu Rai Coaches: Krishna Thapa (head), Upendra Man Singh and Hari Khadka (assistants) Physio: Dejib Thapa Team Leader: Lalit Krishna Shrestha