Nepal crash out of SAFF U-19 Championship after India lossThe young Gorkhalis lose their semi-final clash 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
Nepal exited the SAFF-U19 Championship after they lost their semi-final match to India 3-2 on penalties following a thrilling 1-1 draw at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
Samir Tamang struck in the 74th minute to cancel out Sahil Khursid’s 26th minute opener to keep alive Nepal’s bid to make it to the final for the first time since 2017.
But Prashant Laksam, Lachhu Thapa and Bikram Tamang all missed the spot kicks as India progressed into their fourth final and set up Saturday’s title clash against Pakistan, who beat Bhutan 6-5 on penalties following a goalless draw at the same venue earlier in the afternoon.
Khursid scored his first goal of the tournament to give India the lead, pouncing on a poor clearance from Nepali defenders to smash the back of the net from inside the six-yard box.
Nepal’s best chance for equaliser in the first half came in the additional time from a corner but Tamang’s header lacked precision and bounced off the ground before evading the crossbar.
Nepal had a golden opportunity to score two minutes into the restart but Laksam connected Nirajan Dhami with a clever through ball but Dhami’s low shot hit the post.
The equaliser finally came midway into the second half when Tamang’s header off a cross from Dipak Thapa Magar beat Indian goalkeeper Lionel Daryl Rymmei at the near post.
India almost finished off the game in the 79th minute when Naoba Meitei’s left-footed cross deflected off Nepal’s Lachhu before darting at the far post but Nepal goalkeeper and captain Jiyarat Shekh came to the rescue with a finger-tip save.
Both teams pushed for the winner in the final few minutes but could not create any clear chances, pushing the game to a penalty shootout, in which Indian goalie Daryl Rymmei turned hero.
Nepal’s goalkeeper Shekh also saved penalties from Dinesh Singh Soubam and Ricky Meetei Haomab but that was not enough to stop India from advancing.
India will now turn their attention to Pakistan as they look to win a record-extending third title.
Pakistan, who had defeated Nepal 1-0 in their opening group game, reached their first final after Bhutan’s Tshetrim Pelzang missed the spot kick in the tiebreaker.