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SAF Championship Football 2003


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#21 Pukar

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 03:42 PM

Inida thrashed Afghanistan 4 nil to move up one spot into second place.

In the other match from Group A, Pakistan remained in top spot by beating Sri Lanka 2-1.

This now leaves Pakistan in first place with 6 points which means they are through to the next round. The group is now at a peak as the only other two teams that can qualify are India and Sri Lanka who both meet each other on the 14th Jan. - The winner of this match will join Pakistan into the next round.

Nepal will play their second match tomorrow (13 Jan.) against Bhutan.

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Edited by Pukar, 12 January 2003 - 03:46 PM.


#22 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:33 AM

Nepal aims for goals galore against Bhutan

The loss in their opening match against hosts Bangladesh on Saturday has left Nepal with a daunting task.

Nepal starts as firm favourites against the South Asian minnows Bhutan on Monday, but securing all three points alone would not be sufficient. Anything less than a margin of seven goals would leave the team in a tight corner.

Bhutan, since being affiliated to FIFA in 2000, have so far played only nine games without a win. They were trounced 6-0 by Maldives in their first ever appearance in the SAFF Championship.

And despite the reverse in the match against the hosts, Nepali team hasn’t lost hopes as yet. "I am confident that we can still progress through to the knockout stage," Yukee Heung, Nepal team coach, said confidently. "I don’t think there should be any difficulty putting past seven goals against Bhutan."

But the Dutch coach to Bhutan national team, Henk Walk, looks determined to make it difficult for Nepal.

"From yesterday’s game, I’ve noticed that Nepal is a strong team. But we would try hard to keep the margin as low as possible," Walk said, giving example of friendly matches they had against Bangladesh.

Bhutan were blanked 5-0 by powerful Bangladesh in the first match but put in a spirited performance in the next one to narrow the deficit down to 1-0.

Given the very short time - two weeks – the Nepal coach Heung was given to prepare the national squad for the event, he seems to be satisfied with the performance of Nepal.

Short of match practice and knowledge about the Bangladeshi side, Nepal entered the match opting defensive strategy and later changed the gear to adopt more attacking approach.

"We had several chances in that session," Heung noticed. "But despite all the hard work, our attackers failed to capitalise on them."

For the Bhutan game, there will be some changes in the side that started against Bangladesh yesterday, Heung informed.

He said that Hari Khadka, who is still trying to regain full fitness after injury, would be placed in the bench to save him for Wednesday’s vital game against Maldives. He is also unimpressed over the performance of Khadka’s strike partner Nirajan Rayamajhi but he has not decided if he would be sidelined on Monday.

He also complained that some of the players did not follow what they had been asked for.

"I’ve repeatedly cautioned them not to go for off-side trap," said the Korean coach. "Sadly, they did not pay attention and we paid a heavy penalty as the Thai linesman failed to spot the offside which allowed Bangladesh an opportunity to score the decisive goal."

But Raju Shakya, the assistant coach, insists Nepal, which has a history of gathering pace after a slow start, would stage a come-back. In the SAARC Gold Cup held in Sri Lanka in 1995, Nepal went down to Bangladesh but fought their way back to reach the last four.

"We’ll go for the kill to grab all six points from the next two matches," declared the former national team captain. "I feel we can still repeat history."

And if things go to the liking of Nepal in the match against Bhutan, coach Heung says, the team would experiment on new tactics for the important clash with Maldives.


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#23 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:34 AM

Pakistan power into semifinals

Pakistan racked up their second successive win on Sunday in Group ‘A’ to reach the semi-finals of the SAFF Championship.

In a match held at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu Stadium, Pakistan, who stole all three points with a 1-0 win against arch rivals India in the tournament’s opening match, defeated Sri Lanka 2-1.

Defending champions India, however, shrugged off their last defeat to post a convincing 4-0 win over Afghanistan.

Although Sri Lanka matched Pakistan almost in all departments of the game in the opening session, they failed to keep the tempo when the teams returned from the break.

Pakistan were rewarded for their tireless effort in the 48th minute when

Ashraf Ahmad, coming up with a bursting pace, put them 1-0 ahead.

They continued to build pressure and made a string of good moves but were denied by some dogged Lanka defense.

Although the second half was played relatively in a rapid pace, it was towards the close that really set the match on fire as both the teams traded quick exchanges of attacks.

In 88th minute, Sarfaraz Rasool put Pakistan 2-0 up to guarantee three more points and a place in the last four of the tournament.

Sri Lanka, unwilling to give up, pulled one back through Weerasingh in the injury time to narrow the gulf to 2-1.

Meanwhile, a pair of double strikes from Ashim Biswas and Alvito D’Cunha put India among points in the tournament.

Stephen Constantine’s side took the lead through Biswas in the 33rd minute. Sameer Naik’s long throw-in was headed by Renedy Singh and

Biswas, wasted no time to put it past the Afghan keeper Jamshid to go 1-0 up at the half time.

Biswas, showing his exhilarating skills in front of goal, found the net again in the 65th minute to move 2-0.

Afghanistan struggled to push forward and frequently kept losing the possession inside their own territory gifting India with several scoring chances.

India took the match beyond Afghanistan’s reach in the 83rd when D’Cunha scored their third. He doubled his personal tally to two when he found the net again in the 87th minute.

Afghanistan had their best chance in the 65th minute when Omar Nazar produced a cracker of the shot off a freekick from 25 yards forcing a brilliant save from Indian keeper Nazeem Akhtar.


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#24 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:34 AM

Monday’s matches:

Bangladesh vs Maldives
Nepal vs Bhutan

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#25 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:36 AM

Indian youngster Ashim Biswas in action, January 12
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#26 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:37 AM

India's Ashim Biswas (left) and Shanmugam Venkatesh, January 12 in action against Afganistan
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#27 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:37 AM

INdia Vs Afganistan
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#28 Joy

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 09:38 AM

Ashim Biswas (no.19) celebrating one of his goals against with captain Debjit Ghosh (no.4) and M.Suresh (no.2)
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#29 sanskar

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 12:16 PM

For more pictures visit this site.

http://www.indianfoo...3/pictures.html

regards,
Sanskar Shrestha
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#30 sanskar

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Posted 13 January 2003 - 12:42 PM

Good news:
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Nepal scrapes past Bhutan

KOL Report

KATHMANDU, Jan 13 - Nepal has scraped past Bhutan 2 – 0 n their latest match of the Third South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) tournament in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka Monday afternoon.

According to reports, Nepal opened the scoring in the 15th minute through Nirajan Rayamajhi while Kumar Thapa complete the tally in the 89th minute.

The final score line comes something as a disappointment for the Nepalese football fans in Kathmandu who were hoping for a bigger victory.

The result also means that Nepalese team have put themselves under huge pressure going into their last league game against the Maldives who beat Bhutan 6-0 on Saturday. Maldives are currently playing hosts Bangladesh. (rk)
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Hope, Nepal will beat Maldives and enters next round. Gool luck !!!
Sanskar Shrestha
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