By a Staff Reporter
Kathmandu – Nepal registered second consecutive defeat in the third round of AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers after suffering a 4-1 defeat against hosts Kuwait on Saturday.
Yousef Nasser scored twice in the Group A match played at the Jabir Al Ahmed Stadium in Kuwait while Fahad Alresidi and Mubarak Alfanini scored one goal each.
Nepal’s Darshan Gurung scored a consolation goal for Nepal in the dying minutes of the game.
Nepal was under pressure from the beginning and conceded a goal in the 28th minute as Alresidi opened the account for the hosts. The first half ended with the hosts taking a 1-0 lead.
Kuwait doubled the lead in the 48th minute with a goal from Nasser.
On the other end, Nepal’s captain Navyug Shrestha’s shot hit the crossbar and returned back in the 57th minute as the visitors missed a chance to reduce the goal deficit. Nasser then scored his personal second and the third goal for his team in the 68th minute. Five minutes later, Alresidi added another goal to extend Kuwait’s lead to 4-0.
Darshan Gurung saved the blushes of Nepal with a goal in the first minute of injury time. Gurung had entered the pitch as a replacement of Gautam Shrestha in the 35th minute.
It was the first victory of Kuwait while Nepal had lost its second consecutive match.
Earlier, Nepal had lost its opening match against Jordan 2-0. Nepal will now play its last match against Indonesia on June 14.
Kuwait has 3 points from two matches. Jordan and Indonesia also have equal three points but they both have played one match less.
The top teams from each group in the third round of the qualifiers will get a chance to play the Asian Cup. Likewise, the best five teams that finished second will also secure their places for the championship to be held in 2023.