News Nepal Must Ride On Momentum Against India - Preview By Sr. Columnist Sushil Thapa
Sushil Thapa

The men’s under-20 national football team of Nepal competing in the South Asian Football Federation Championship in Bhubaneswar,India has got off to a blistering start.

The talented Nepali outfit skippered by international Ayush Ghalan churned out a strong ,impressive,determined and consistent performance in both matches.

They looked sharp,confident, aggressive,cohesive and intent to win.They played like a well oiled machine, dominating the proceedings and maintaining the tempo of the match throughout. Both offensively and defensively,they were effective and up to the task. The offense successfully worked in tandem with midfielders to launch coordinated attacks. In addition,individual brilliance, pace, clinical finish and solid defensive work also contributed to the success.

The youngsters were in the right frame of mind and gave a good account of themselves in both outings.They stuck to the game plan,made few unforced errors and performed to their potential. Team Nepal needed a dream start,which they got against a surprisingly lackluster Maldives in the opener.They were dominant and in total control of the match from start to finish.

The offense stood out and did not waste scoring opportunities that came by.They ended the match scoring 4 unanswered goals. They carried their good performance against Sri Lanka in the second match. Despite playing a barren first half, they got their mojo back midway through the second half and scored three quick goals to seal a victory. Overall it was a tidy performance.They put forth a great team effort,hard work and dedication to overcome the opposition and ultimately deliver the result. With two straight wins, Head Coach Meg Raj KC boys are well-positioned to reach the final.No doubt,the team’s morale and confidence level is very high right now. That being said, in sports nothing can be taken for granted till the final whistle. The hard work and commitment must be provided continuity until the mission is accomplished.

It is crucial that they do not drop their guard in the next two matches.Riding the momentum to the end will be key to success at the end of the day. Keeping this in mind, the young colts must do everything possible to ensure success and not let their good work go to waste. They will have to stay focused, composed, confident, aggressive, believe in themselves, maintain consistency, effectively execute the game plan and not let mediocrity creep into their performance.

They are up against hosts India who are on the verge of elimination, following their defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. The Indians are in a must-win situation to stay alive in the competition.They will be playing under pressure, and I expect them to go full throttle for a victory regardless. On the other hand, Nepal will face a determined opponent and are most likely to be fully tested for the first time in the championship.They cannot slow down and become overly defensive. They must play a positive attacking brand of football throughout and not let the opposition settle down.

The youngsters carry the burden yet again to prove their mettle and come out as victors. It is imperative that they are one hundred percent committed and play to their ability . Also they must take their performance a notch above. 

By Sushil Thapa,Fairfax,VA, USA

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