Nepali youth scored a comprehensive 4-0 victory over the Maldives, while India suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the inaugural day matches of the SAFF U-15 Football Championship here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.
In the day’s second match, Nepal scored two goals each in either half to record the win in Group B. Jaan Limbu, Namas Thapa Magar, Sashank Bohara and Dipesh Rai netted one goal each for the hosts.
Limbu put Nepal ahead in the 28th minute through a penalty goal. The hosts earned the spot kick after Maldives defender Nabuhan Mohamed brought down Rokash Bishwokarma inside the danger zone and Limbu converted the resulting penalty. Thapa Magar doubled the lead in the 35th minute as the hosts went to the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Nepal then added two more goals in the space of seven minutes to register the comprehensive victory. Bohara made it 3-0 in the 63rd minute and Rai completed the scoring in the 70th minute. Nepal coach Sanoj Shrestha was satisfied with the victory but said there were still areas to improve. “We are happy with the victory as we were able to get three points from the first match. Winning is always the priority and we need to keep improving for the upcoming matches,” said Shrestha.
In an early kick-off, Pakistan registered an upset victory over India. Adnan Justin and Wasif scored one each for Pakistan, while Thlacheu Vanlalruatfela netted for India. Justin put Pakistan ahead in the 30th minute, while Vanlalruatfela levelled the scores for India in the 53rd minute. Wasif, who came in as a substitute for Mohin Ahmed in the 84th minute, sealed the victory a minute after entering the pitch.
Bangladesh is the third team in Group B, while India and Pakistan were drawn on Group A along with Bhutan. Sri Lanka pulled out of the tournament. After league round, top two sides from both the pools will advance to the semi-finals.
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