Nepali star forwards Gharti Magar, Khawas left outThe star forwards fail to prove fitness ahead of next month’s friendlies against Malaysia and Chinese Taipei
Star forwards Bimal Gharti Magar and Bharat Khawas were on Monday left out of Nepal’s squad for next month’s international friendlies against Malaysia and Chinese Taipei.
Midfielder Heman Gurung was also left out from the 23-member squad announced by Swedesh coach Johan Kalin on Monday. Nepal are set to play Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on June 2 before visiting Chinese Taipei on June 6. Nepal are taking the matches as part of their preparations for the joints qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
Kalin said the trios were left out of the squad as they failed to prove their fitness. While Gharti Magar is suffering from hamstring problem, Khawas has knee injury and Gurung is recovering from the ankle injury. “There is no other reason for their exclusion other than their fitness concerns,” said Kalin who was appointed the head coach of the National team on March 1. Defenders Kamal Shrestha and Dinesh Rajbanshi are other big names to miss out of the friendlies.
Forward-cum-winger Avishek Rijal and Tej Tamang are the new faces while the likes of Ajit Bhandari, Ravi Silwal and Saroj Dahal were among the surprise inclusions. Khawas had picked Medical Collateral Ligament (MCL) injury during the national team training a week earlier. The injury takes at least two weeks to heal. Central midfielder Gurung has been with the team for the last one week having recovered from ankle injury but he was not deemed match fit. Gharti Magar, who recently jointed Maldivian top-tier outfits TC Sports Club, was also undergoing a light training.
The team has been training for the last two weeks and Kalin was pleased with the way it went about. “The team is working hard and is continuing to get back to shape,” said Kalin. Kalin is yet to taste success since taking reins of the national team. Under him, Nepal played a goalless draw against Kuwait on March 21 before losing to the same team 1-0 on March 25 in two back-to-back friendlies.
“We will continue to build our team and come up with much stronger performance than we did against Kuwait,” said Kalin adding that his team would try to play more pressing game than the past. “Some new players were really well during training and hopefully they can prove themselves through the friendlies.”
Kiran Chemjong, Alan Neupane, Bikesh Kuthu. Biraj Maharjan, Saroj Dahal, Rajeen Dhimal, Suman Aryal, Ananta Tamang, Ajit Bhandari, Devendra Tamang, Ravi Silwal, Sunil Bal, Ravi Paswan, Sujal Shrestha, Bishal Rai, Rohit Chand, Bikram Lama, Santosh Tamang, Tej Tamang, Bimal Rana, Nawayug Shrestha, Abishek Rijal, Anjan Bista. 12