UAE players (white) rejoicing after scoring a ball against Nepal.
KATHMANDU: In a challenging bout at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai last night, Nepal faced a setback in their quest for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asia Cup 2027 qualifications.
The Nepali national football team succumbed to a resounding 4-0 defeat against the formidable United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The match showcased UAE’s dominance, with Ali Ahmed Mabakhot leading the charge by scoring two goals, accompanied by Khalifa Mubarak Alhammadi and Fabio Virginio Lima, who each contributed with one goal.
The first half proved to be a struggle for Nepal as they found themselves trailing early on.
In the 10th minute, Khalifa Mubarak Alhammadi secured an early lead for UAE.
Captain Ahmed Mabakhot further deepened Nepal’s woes by scoring a penalty in the 36th minute, doubling the lead. Mabakhot continued his stellar performance, adding another goal in the 44th minute, while Fabio Virginio Lima’s injury-time goal sealed UAE’s commanding 4-0 lead going into halftime.
Despite the significant deficit, Nepal displayed resilience in the second half, launching several attacks in an attempt to turn the tide.
However, their efforts were thwarted, and they failed to find the back of the net.
This defeat marks a challenging start for Nepal in the second round of World Cup qualifiers.
The team is set to return home tonight.