Nepal take on Sri LankaHaving played a draw against Malaysian top tier Felda United in their opening match, Nepal are taking on South Asian rivals Sri Lanka in a crucial Group ‘A’ match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
Having played a draw against Malaysian top tier Felda United in their opening match, Nepal are taking on South Asian rivals Sri Lanka in a crucial Group ‘A’ match of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
With a semi-final spot at stake, the match will be crucial for both teams as it determines their fate in the tournament. A victory for Nepal will help them push for the semi-final spot with four points with Bangladesh up next in their last league game.
A defeat for Sri Lanka, who lost 4-2 to hosts Bangladesh on Saturday, would mean an early exit from the tournament. Nepal coach Bal Gopal Maharjan knew the importance of Wednesday’s game. “We are playing Bangladesh in our last match and it would be very important for us to come up with victory against Sri Lanka and make our plans,” said Maharjan.
The match will also be an opportunity for Nepal to avenge the heartbreaking loss they suffered during the recent Saff Championship held in India. Sri Lanka had edged Nepal 1-0, a loss that ultimately knocked them out of the tournament.
Nepal have not won a single match in the past 28 months while scoring just one goal in their last 13 games. Maharjan said his side’s job would be to score goals and win. “Its important that we win tomorrow and it is the only way for us to progress in the tournament. But for that we have to score goals,” the coach added.
Nepal will go with a 4-3-3 strategy against Sri Lanka playing Bimal Gharti Magar, Nawayug Shrestha and Anjan Bista upfront. “Our forwards have been low on confidence and we are desperate to avoid that,” said Maharjan adding his side is aware of Sri Lanka.
“We have done the required analysis of the Sri Lankan team. We are fresh from playing against them and this will help us in making our plans,” concluded the coach. Bangladesh lead Group ‘A’ table with three points.