KATHMANDU, Aug 23: Nepal suffered a defeat in its first match of the Nehru Cup football tournament as the Maldives pulled off a 2-1 victory on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Thursday.
Maldives´ Assadhullah Abdullah scored an early goal and Ismail Easa scored the second goal ending Nepal´s hopes in the 77th minute. Jumanu Rai scored Nepal´s only goal in the dying minutes of the game.
Maldives started strong and continued to put pressure on the Nepali defense.
Abdullah scored the opening goal in the sixth minute. It was his first goal for the Maldivian national team. Ali Ashfaaq´s cross was punched away by goalkeeper, but Abdullah got the ball and scored in the empty net.
In the 24th minute, Umair´s free kick was headed well by Ashad Ali. However, his header went wide off the post. Ashad Ali again took a shot from outside the penalty area, but his shot went too wide off the target.
Nepali midfielder Bijay Gurung missed a superb chance after he got the ball near the edge of the six-yard box in the 48th minute. However, his shot went wide off the target.
Ali Ashfaaq dribbled past four defenders and took a shot, but it went across the goal and wide off the target.
Ismail Easa scored the second goal for Maldives from a superb build up. Ashfaaq gave a good pass to Ahmed Rasheed, who dribbled past the defenders and crossed into the penalty area. Ismail Easa, who was left alone neatly, netted the ball. It was also Ismail Easa´s first goal for Maldives.
Jumanu Rai scored the only goal for Nepal in the dying minutes of the game. Rai managed to dribble past the defenders of Maldives and shot past Maldivian goalkeeper, Imran.
According to Goalnepal.com, Nepali Coach Krishna Thapa said that they had poor preparation as they had just two weeks time for preparing themselves for the championship. He also said that the Maldives scored an early goal, which put his boys under pressure.