Kyrgyzstan holds Palestine, Nepal crashes out
KATHMANDU, March 30
Nepal´s dream of entering the final round of AFC Challenge Cup has all but ended after Kyrgyzstan played a 1-1 draw with Palestine Monday in the last match of the AFC Group ´C´ qualifiers held at the Dasharath Stadium.
With this draw Kyrgyzstan topped the group on numbers of goals scored to qualify for the final round of AFC Challenge Cup to be held in India next year.
All three teams have equal two points after all the matches ended in draw. However, Kyrgyzstan topped the group as it played two 1-1 draws while Nepal and Palestine had played a goalless draw.
Nepal still has a faint chance of advancing as the best runner-up from among the four groups as it finished second ahead of Palestine on superior disciplinary record after being tied even on goal difference and goals scored. But it has to wait for completion of other groups´ qualifiers and hope for a succession of favorable results in those matches.
Murzaev Mirlan of Kyrgyzstan opened the scoring in the 20th minute through a penalty after Harchenko Vadim was brought down by Palestine defender Nadeem Baragouthi at the edge of the box.
Palestine scored the equalizer in the 29th minute through a S Al-Sobakhi header amidst the chaos in the box on a superb cross from F Attal. No other goals were possible in the remaining time of the match though Palestine, which had to win the match to top the group, tried for the winning goal.
Kyrgyzstan coach Anarbek unsatisfied with his team´s performance said that the match was very tough. “Our players were young and inexperienced while the opponents were experienced,” Anarbek said. I can’t speak for Kyrgyzstan but this is probably the most inexperienced squad we have fielded in a VERY long time
Palestine assistant coach Jamal Daraghmo commented that Kyrgyzstan was lucky to qualify for the final round. “We lost many chances today. Better teams have not qualified for the final round as both Nepal and Palestine were better than Kyrgyzstan,” he claimed which seemed fair looking at the performance of teams through three matches and considering the fact that Kyrgyzstan scored both the goals through soft penalties.