FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Nepal hopes better in home ground « Khabarhub
Wednesday, July 24th, 2024

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Nepal hopes better in home ground



KATHMANDU: First time in the history, Nepal has got the chance to play in the second round of the joint qualifiers for the World Cup 2022 and AFC Cup 2023 at Dasharath Stadium Kathmandu on March 26.

Nepal is going to play the match against Chinese Taipei amidst the ever-excited Nepali soccer fans crowded in Dasharath Stadium.

Five days after the match against Taipei, Nepal is scheduled to play against Australia. Nepal has launched the close session as the preparation for the forthcoming events, however, not all players included in the national team have shown themselves in the training session yet.

Johan Kalin, the head coach of Nepal’s national team says that some of the players are still busy in some clubs on the outskirts so they are still not back to the training sessions.

While 23 players practice busily in the playground at ANFA Complex Satdobato, calculating their closely, head coach Kalin expects good results in the home-ground.

Kalin, who had been observing the performance of the players Senior Division Leagues played between Dec. 14, 2019  to Feb 15, 2020, has formed a preliminary team with 33 players. He has called all 33 players for the practice session.

Although the preliminary team has included both the old and the new players, it is sans some former ‘icons’ like Bimal Gharti Magar, Santosh Tamang, Dinesh Rajbanshi and former captain Biraj Maharjan.

Coach Kalin, however, is affirmative of the selection. “ Whatever faces there may be, the team now is good,” he said speaking to media, “all good players available now in Nepal have been called for the training session.” He is optimistic that his team will perform the best in the home-ground.

Head coach of Nepal’s national team Johan Kalin.

“We have come back to preparation. The practice session is going on well, though unfortunately, we could not call all players in the camp,” he spoke thoughtfully, “yet, we will use the time available and try to make the best of it.”

Coach Kalin shared his Nepal experience saying that there are not enough good players in Nepal, but young players have very good potentials. He, however, added that owing to their lack of experience in international matches, they still may not be able to perform their best.

“Some players are doing good in the league games, yet they do not have the experience of international standards,” he said, “if they play like the professionals they can perform well,” Kalin added that there were few very good players as well.

He is optimistic about the performance of the players. “Although our team seems relatively weaker in the group, we are trying to come out with the best.”

The coach expects the sessions to be very effective once all players are back to the camp.

Nepal is playing with Chinese Taipei in its first match at Dasharath Stadium Kathmandu. Nepal has high morale in this match as it has the advantage of being the winner against Taipei in the ‘Away game’ played before.

Kalin still thinks the match Nepal played against Australia in the latter’s home-ground was not much worse.

“Australia is the strongest team in the group yet we had played nicely against it in its home-ground,” Kalin said, “ though we may not get an easy victory against it, we will try to play offer better play, even better than “Away game’ in Australia.

He is aware that Australia is far better than Nepal in football. “Australia, as a team, is better than Nepal, they play better,” he added, “yet we will try to play better than before.”

Captain of the national team Kiran Chemjong and another player Rohit Chand are in a foreign league. Kalin informed that they would join the session once their clubs release them.

The head-coach had planned to start practice session from Feb. 17, however, the knockout competitions held at the outskirts made his impractical. As the players included in the camp turned out to be the ones going in the outskirts competition, with consent from ANFA and other clubs the camp start has been postponed for nearly two weeks.

In the meantime, former coach Raju Kaji Shakya thinks a long close camp imperative when a team like ours has to face the stronger teams like Australia and Chinese Taipei as it takes time for players’ setting in the team.

“Now there are few good players in the team, yet, team setting takes time hence, good preparation is a must,” Shakya told Khabarhub why the training was so vital.

“The longer the time is given for the players to understand each other’s moves and gestures the better,” he added.

Shakya takes the active life the players have got through clubs as affirmative for preparation.

Kalin, on the other hand, opines that despite playing in A division leagues for more than 2 months, the players have not got the practice for the team.

“ I don’t mean to criticize any club or coach in particular, but I think most of our players have not got enough time for preparations in the league matches as well,” the Head Coach of the country said, “it’s true, the players played a lot, but the practice was not enough.”

“The players need enough time for preparation,” he added.

Violators go unexcused

Four formerly held key players of the national team Bimal Gharti Magar, Anjan Bista, Santosh Tamang and Dinesh Rajbanshi were found in a night club one night before their flight to Bhutan to play ‘Home game’ with Kuwait. For their discipline breach, ANFA had later taken action against them.

Anjan and Santosh had foregone 45 days football ban whereas Bimal and Dinesh were cracked tougher with 90 days ban against them. Despite withstanding the period, the discipline violators are not called back in the team.

When asked the role of discipline for the players, the head coach for national football Kalin said, “Discipline is of supreme value for all people esp. for the players. The players should be disciplined both in and outside the playfield.”

“The discipline the players abide by shows their level of professionalism,” he added.

Nepal’s position in the group

Nepal is in Group ‘B’ in World Cup Qualifiers. Out of 5 matches played in the group, Nepal has bagged victory in only one. With 4 victories in the 4 matches played so far, Australia is at the top position in the group whereas Nepal which has won only one match is in the 4th position leaving Chinese Taipei for the 5th position.

The other two members in the group Kuwait and Jordan who have won 3 matches out of 5 are in the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

Publish Date : 06 March 2020 10:48 AM

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