Forward Bharat Khawas returns to the team announced by coach KalinThe match will be played at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu as Dashrath Stadium was adjudged 'unfit' after it failed to meet international standards.
The head coach of Nepal's senior men's football team Johan Kalin has announced the final squad to play against Kuwait in the 'home fixture' under the FIFA World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifiers. The match, however, will be played at the neutral venue in Thimpu, Bhutan, on Tuesday — after Dashrath Stadium was found unfit to host the match.
Forward Bharat Khawas, who had missed Nepal's first four matches of the qualifiers to take part in the Nepal Army's Flight Operational Officer course in Thailand, has retained place in the final-23 member squad. Khawas is the first Nepali player to score a goal against a nation placed within the top 100 in the FIFA rankings. He scored when Nepal played a 1-1 draw against Jordan, who were 91st in the FIFA rankings in 2011, when the two sides locked horns at the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at the Dashrath Stadium.
"I am very much happy to comeback in the squad," said the 27-year-old Lieutenant of Nepal Army. "As the opponents of the group like Kuwait, Australia and Jordan are much tougher, we have the challenge to perform well. But if every member of the squad give their cent percent we could pull good results," he said whose side were hammered 7-0 by Kuwait in their away match.
Bishal Rai has been omitted from the squad, as the midfielder is currently injured. Mikchhen Tamang, who debuted for Nepal against Myanmar last week, is also named in the team.
After playing the first four away matches in the five-team group, Nepal are placed fourth in Group ‘B’ with three points. Following the loss to Kuwait, Nepal overcame Taiwan 2-0. Nepal then travelled to Australia where they suffered a 5-0 drubbing and lost 3-0 against Jordan. Nepal have scored only two goals while conceding 15.
The match will be played at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimpu. Nepal's football governing body All Nepal Football Association had proposed international football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation to host the event in Bhutan after Dashrath Stadium was adjudged 'unfit to hold the match for failing to meet international standards' by the technical committee of AFC. The Asian football governing entity had inspected the stadium on November 5.
"I assume the playing environment in Thimpu would be suitable for us. But we will miss playing in front of the home supporters which is big motivational factor to us," said Khawas.
Goalkeepers: Kiran Chemjong, Bikesh Kutthu, Bishal Shrestha
Defenders: Saroj Dahal, Devendra Tamang, Ananta Tamang, Suman Aryal, Dinesh Rajbanshi, Ajit Bhandari, Ranjit Dhimal
Midfielders: Sunil Bal, Anjan Bista, Bikram Lama, Ravishankar Paswan, Mikchhen Tamang, Rohit Chand, Sujal Shrestha, Santosh Tamang, Tej Tamang
Forwards: Bharat Khawash, Nawayug Shrestha, Bimal Gharti Magar, Abhisekh Rijal