23 August, 2012
Nepal takes on Maldives in the second match of the ongoing Nehru Cup 2012. Both are underdogs and a win in this match will take them on their quest of qualifying for final to next step. A loss will certainly mean their qualification for final almost impossible as both the teams feel that their opponent will be the easiest one in this tournament.
Nepal has been going on a patchy form lately. They have lost their last 4 consecutive matches in a row which includes a loss in their own home soil against today's opponent. But there are some positives as well they have performed far better in the SAFF Championship last year in this same venue. There will be a significant number of supporters there to support Nepalese team as huge number of Nepalese supporters reside in the locality.
Nepal 0 - 1 Maldives (AFC Challenge Cup 2012)
Nepal 1 - 1 Maldives (SAFF Championship 2011)
In the SAFF Championship Nepal were better team despite the drawn result. If Nepal played to their potential then all 3 points is up for grabs. Nepalese team need to improve their defensive lapse while going for the all out attack.
There were some negative remarks about Nepalese team partcipation in the Nehru Cup 2012 as they weren't prepared. Some critics even claimed that they shouln't have accepted the invitation as they were last minute invitees. But as the players are fit and has been training for their respective club side their participation shouln't be a problem. All the star players are in the side with full fitness: Jumanu Rai, Bharat Khawas, Anil Gurung,Rohit Chand, Sandip Rai and skipper Sagar Thapa . Almost all the team members have been playing together for years and they understand their rhythm better. Coach Krishna Thapa also remains upbeat that their team can surprise everyone by making it to the finals.
On the other hand, Maldives too find themselves able to qualify for the finals if they are able to beat Nepal in their very first match. But they know it that it isn't an easy ride. Their star talisman Ali Ashfaq remains a threat to any team in the region. He is always focused throughout the game and one slight defensive lapse is all he needs to open scoring for his team. Abdul Akram will be key to stopping Nepal's attack along with Ahmed Shafiu who is also a threat on attack. Mohamad Arif will be dictating play from the middle of the park.
This is also a tough match to predict as both the team know each other's game strategy very well. As far as both teams know this will be a win which can open a passage to the final. Nepalifootball.com predicts a tough win for Nepal.
Nepal 1 - 0 Maldives