By A Staff Reporter
KATHMANDU: Nepali National Football Team’s Head Coach Abdullah Almutairi has announced two separate squads for the two friendly matches against Mauritius.
Coach Almutairi will use all 34 players in the preliminary selection for two games. He said that there is an opportunity to add experience of international game in the players. He addressed that the main goal is to give experience to the players rather than results.
“I want to see the players carry international experience. It prepares players for future international games. I am expecting a better performance than the result, ”he said.
Coach Almutairi selected goalkeepers Tikendra Thapa and Shatrughan Chaudhary, defender Nabin Gurung, midfielder Akash Budha Magar, Kritish Ratna Chunju, Sudip Gurung and forward Sushil Rai for the first time based on their performance in the league. While the league was going on, coach Almutairi included Aashish Rai and Jagajeet Shrestha in the team. In the end, Prashant Awasthi also made a place in the preliminary team. Ayush Ghalan, Kamal Thapa and Dinesh Henjan were out of the starting squad due to injuries.
Almutairi has divided 34 players from the preliminary selection into two teams. He announced the name with the aim of adding experience of international sports to the players. In this process, he has included 12 players in both the teams and 11-11 players have made a place in only one game.
With the announcement, 9 players who were selected in the preliminary selection for first time have succeeded in making a place in the final team. Coach Almutairi selected goalkeepers Tikendra Thapa and Shatrughan Chaudhary, defender Nabin Gurung, midfielder Akash Budha Magar, Kritish Ratna Chunju, Aashish Rai, Sudip Gurung and forwards Prashant Awasthi and Sushil Rai for the first time.
The first-time players have made the squad for just one game. From the preliminary squad, 12 Experienced players have secured place in both teams. Similarly, some players who are struggling due to injuries are not available for the first game. Defender Ananta Tamang, midfielder Arik Bista, young forward Sushil Rai and few others will be involved only in the second match.
Nepal and Mauritius are playing two friendly matches at Dasharath Stadium on January 15 (Saturday) and January 18 (Tuesday). Mauritius lags behind Nepal in FIFA rankings. Nepal is ranked 169th and Mauritius 172nd. For the first time, Nepal is going to play an international game with an African team.
The Mauritius team is about to play an international game after almost two years. Due to the Corona epidemic, the team had not played an international game recently. In Mauritius, domestic football has also come to a standstill due to Corona.
The Nepali team has not played any international game since the fair championship in Maldives in September. At that time, the Nepali team had reached the final for the first time. Nepal had played two friendly matches against India at home before the match. At that time, Nepal had drawn 1 and lost 1.