in Nepal is quite a popular sport. But professional football in the country has
yet to blossom into full swing although in the past few years things have taken
a turn for the good.
are ranked 177 in the latest FIFA list but they would certainly like to climb
the ladder by performing to the best of their ability in the AFC Challenge Cup
Reds or the Bull, as the Nepalese national football team is known as, have
never featured in the World Cup or the Asian Cup but they did trek to the
semi-finals of the AFC Challenge Cup in 2006 and have been participating in the
South Asian Football Federation Cup since 1993 with decent progress.
Rai: The striker was the hero for Nepal in the 4-1 victory over Pakistan in the
SAFF Cup where he scored a brace.
Tamang: The midfielder who has 9 goals to his name in the Tribhuwan Army Club
shall be the one to watch out for.
Nepalese team is coached by Birat Krishna Shrestha. He was formerly at Nepal
Police Club(NPC) and was handed the reins of the national team for the AFC
Challenge Cup 2008 after German Thomas Flath failed to show up for the
was unveiled as the new Nepal coach only a few days ago but he was quick to
name his 25-man squad for the competition. Shrestha is a highly respected coach
at club level and guided NPC to second place in the AFC President’s Cup 2007.
are drawn into Group B along with DPR Korea, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Going by
their performance in the SAFF Cup last month, Nepal would have to up their
standards to reach the knock-out stages of the AFC Challenge Cup.
have been preparing for their AFC Challenge Cup by playing some warm-up
matches. Their last match was against Indian powerhouse East Bengal where they
collected a morale boosting victory in Kolkata. Nepal edged East Bengal 1-0
with Niranjan Khadka scoring the winner 20 minutes into the match. Nepal next
play Chirag United on Saturday and shall then leave for Hyderabad for the
Goalkeepers: Ritesh Thapa, Bikash Malla, Samit
Defenders: Rakesh Shrestha, Anjan KC, Lok Bandu Gurung, Biraj
Maharjan, Sagar Thapa, Suman Subedi, Chun Bahadur Thapa, Bikash Singh Chhetri,
Midfielders: Bijaya Gurung, Vishad Gauchan, Nirajan Khadka, Bhola
Silwal, Anata Raj Thapa, Parbat Pandey, Ranjit Shrestha, Raju Tamang, Sandip
Strikers: Jumanu Rai, Santosh Sahukhala, Yougal
Kishor, Nirajan Rayamajhi