The Gorkhalis began the SAFF Championships positively as they disposed off Bangladesh without breaking a sweat with the scoreline being too lenient for the lackluster Bengal TigersREPORT
By Kaustav Bera with Ayush Srivastava at the stadium
In the opening encounter of the SAFF Championship 2013, hosts Nepal defeated neighbours Bangladesh 2-0 in a Group A clash held at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, with goals from Anil Gurung (18th minute) and Bharat Khawas (31st minute) being the difference between the two sides.
Nepal boss, Jack Stefanowski opted to start with Bharat Khawas and Anil Gurung up front with familiar face Rohit Chand in defense. His compatriot, Lodewijk de Kruif opted to start with the trio of the experienced Zahid Hasan Ameli leading the attack but ably supported by Wahed Ahmed and Toklis Ahmed.
The deadlock was broken in the 18th minute, and it was the duo of Khawas and Gurung who combined perfectly to score with the former crossing again and the latter ably heading the ball past Mamun Khan in goal.
The move was almost repeated four minutes later but Gurung's header this time was too feeble to trouble Mamun. However Nepal did not have to wait much to double their tally as a minute before the half hour mark, they got their second.
From a perfectly taken corner, Khawas was unmarked and he had ample time to place the ball in the top corner leaving the goal keeper with no chance and thus doubling Nepal's advantage.
The rest of the half was insignificant as Bangaldesh scrambled to look for a way to get back into the game, but in vain as they failed to match Nepal's tempo.
Whatever the Bengal Tigers coach had instructed at half time seemed to fail as Bangladesh were pushed back by Nepal, which left little hope of getting a goal back.
Gurung almost doubled his tally in the 67th minute as he went one-on-one with the custodian but wasted too much time in front of the goal to see his shot being saved. In the 80th minute it was Gurung who again had a chance to shoot from close range but his angled shot seemed to have just gone wide, much to the disappointment of the home fans.
The game seemed to wind down in the last ten minutes as both teams seemed to have run out of pace with the Bengal Tigers almost resigned to defeat and Stefanowski's boys taking their foot off the peddle.
With the win, the hosts have gone on to a perfect start while de Kruif will need a lot more work to do if he wishes to pose a challenge to either of India or Pakistan in the remaining matches.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.