आइतबार, मंसिर १९ २०७८
काठमाडौं २०:१८
वासिङटन डिसी 09:33

Nepal must prove themselves against India

By Sushil Thapa ,Fairfax,VA २०७८ असोज २३ गते ०:२१ मा प्रकाशित

Following an impressive 3-2 victory over Sri Lanka, Nepal has registered two straight wins and put themselves in pole  position in the ongoing South Asian Football  Federation Championship in Male, Maldives.

With two matches left to play, Nepal is half way done with its job. As the old adage goes,well begun is half done.Nonetheless,they have maintained a position of ascendancy at this juncture.

Well done Team Nepal for the winning performance. All in all, it was a duel well fought,and a victory well-deserved.The performance can  rightly be described as gutsy,confident,determined, fighting,energetic and aggressive.

Most importantly, it was encouraging to see the offense go on the front foot from the word go and produce a flurry of goals.They were in attack mode for the most part  of the game  and looked dangerous on the counter -attack.The trio of Ayush Ghalan,Anjan Bista,Suman Lama did a ton of great work by scoring a goal apiece

So far it has been an incredible run for Abdullah’s team. Although they have  accomplished a lot, they still have  a long way to go.Having said that, nevertheless ,they have emerged as serious title contenders.

Time will tell whether they are real title contenders or mere pretenders. All I can say is that it is a huge opportunity for them to prove themselves  and show what they are capable of.They must not let the chance slip by.

With that in mind,it is extremely important for Team Nepal to be fully geared up mentally and physically for the next two matches.Everyone agrees that they will be put to the ultimate test when they face India and Bangladesh.

As they approach the critical stage of the competition, Nepal must keep this momentum going with good results.Beside,they have to remain laser-focused on winning,effectively execute the game plan and maintain a  high level performance,coupled with a winning mentality, solid collective effort,consistency, confidence all the way to the end.

They have to keep functioning like  a well -oiled machine to achieve crucial wins heading down the stretch.First they are up against India,by far, the most formidable team in the championship.

Going into the match against the arch-rivals,Nepal must raise their performance a few notches if they want to get anywhere in the tournament.Given the importance of the fixture,they have to be at the top of their game in order  to get the desired result.

They have to guard against complacency and must be highly competitive to succeed.They  cannot afford to lose to India because the slump would put  intense pressure on them to win the final match against Bangladesh.

Having played two draws  against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,India  is determined  to make amends for the two disappointing results.They are in a must win situation to stay in the tournament.They will be looking  for  an outright  victory over Nepal.I expect them to play  an all out attacking brand of football.

I reckon players are fresh,pumped up, rejuvenated and recharged with five days of rest.Team Nepal must respond well to challenges and bring out  their best performance defensively and offensively.

That would mean preparing in the best way possible for the vital clash,embracing the challenge, bringing A-game, performing consistently at peak level  and doing everything to  contain and frustrate  the opponent.

Furthermore, they have to execute the game plan to great effect and play to their strengths and potential.Bear in mind that the Indian outfit is beatable,and it can be achieved only through  a well planned tactic,collective effort,consistent performance and ability to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses.

Should the coach go for the defense oriented strategy, it can turn out to be a tactical blunder and backfire.A combination of direct plays and attacking football may be a more suitable  style of  play for the team.

Nepal will need to start fast from the starting block and impose themselves in the game through  build-up play,good possession of the ball, quality finish, counter attacks and positive play throughout the full 90 minutes of play.

They must respond well to challenges and bring out  their best performance defensively and offensively to get the job done.The last thing we need is another chance wasted.

-By Sushil Thapa ,Fairfax,VA