Chemjong saves keep Nepal in with a chanceGoalkeeper Kiran Chemjong kept Nepal in with a chance of making it to the second round of the men’s football tournament despite losing 1-0 against the mighty Japan during the 18th Asian Games in Cikarang, Indonesia on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong kept Nepal in with a chance of making it to the second round of the men’s football tournament despite losing 1-0 against the mighty Japan during the 18th Asian Games in Cikarang, Indonesia on Tuesday.
Kaoru Mitoma scored the only goal in the seventh minute for the 2010 gold medallist in the Group ‘D’ match held at the Wibawa Mukti Stadium. Japan started aggressively and created frequent scoring chances but it was Nepali goalkeeper Chemjong who denied the Blue Samurais on more than a dozen occasions. They tested Nepali goalie early in the second minute and got on the scoresheet five minutes later.
The Blue Samurais dominated the whole game pinning down Nepal to their own half almost all the time. Had it not been for the Chemjong’s heroics, Nepal would have lost the game heavily. The second half saw more of the same with Japan pressing and Nepal forced to defend but despite their chances, there was only frustration for Hajime Moriyasu’s team as they had to be satisfied with just a 1-0 win. In other matches from the same pool, Vietnam beat Pakistan 3-0 win.
It was the 66th goal Nepal had conceded in the Asiad in their 16 matches. Nepal have never recorded a win in the Asian Games and have only once scored in the history of the meet. Nepal’s only goal in the Asiad dates back to 1982 Asian Games in India during their 3-1 defeat to Kuwait. YB Ghale had scored the only goal for Nepal till date.
Nepal only resumed their participation in Asiad from 2014 in South Korea after 16 years. In their four participations since their first in 1982 until 1998, Nepal conceded 52 goals in 12 games. In the last edition, they gave away 13 goals in three games. Top two teams from each of the six groups along with four best third-placed nations will make to the Round of 16. The Asiad football is an U-23 event but each team is allowed to field three over-aged players.
Nepal take on Vietnam Thursday before wrapping with a clash against Pakistan on Sunday.