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SAFF Championship

  • 3 September 2013
  • • 18:15
  • • Dashrath Rangasala, Kathmandu
  • Referee: Saleh Al Hathlool

Pakistan 1-1 Nepal: Bimal Magar steals a point for the hosts

It took a late equaliser for the Gorkhalis to earn a point from the jaws of defeat after Hassan Bashir had put Pakistan ahead in the 14th minute

By Anselm Noronha with Ayush Srivastava at the stadium

Pakistan and Nepal played an entertaining match that ended in a 1-1 draw in a Group A clash of the SAFF Championship 2013 played at the Dashrath Rangasala in Kathmandu, Nepal.

As a result, Nepal have earned four points from two matches, while Pakistan have been denied their first win in the tournament but have opened their account with a point.

Pakistan coach Shahzad Anwar made one change to his side that faced India, by leaving out defender Kamran Khan in favour of Saddam Jarrar.

His counterpart Jack Stefanowski handed a start to the experienced striker Jumanu Rai ahead of Jagjit Shrestha.

Pakistan chose to utilise their strength of operating from the wings and it indeed paid dividends in the 14th minute.

An Adnan Ahmed free-kick wasn't cleared well by the Nepal defense and the ball fell in the path of Hassan Bashir who slotted the ball past Nepal goalkeeper Kiran Chemzong.

The hosts, trailing by a goal, began piling pressure and came close to scoring an equaliser in the 27th minute as Anil Gurung's free-kick took a couple of deflections before the ball was tipped out by Pakistan goalie Yousof Butt.

On the other side of the pitch however, a mix-up at the back could have proved costly, but Bashir, who had an entire empty goal to aim at, lost his composure and fired over in the 33rd minute.

Meanwhile, Nepal's Sandip Rai let go of a golden opportunity in the 41st minute, as he headed wide from a Raju Tamang free-kick.

Crossing over, Pakistan skipper Samar Ishaq flew in with a tackle to deflect Jumanu Rai's attempt for a corner as the latter had a clear sight of goal.

Nepal continued to press down on their opponents, but could have done a lot better in the air as they wasted a host of opportunities, besides some heroic defending by Zia Us-Salam as Bimal Magar's flick on almost fell nicely for Jumanu Rai in the 88th minute.

Pakistan rarely had a go at their rivals in the second half which was majorly controlled by the home side and in the second minute if stoppage time, a long ball by Sagar Thapa saw Butt flap at it. The ball fell kindly for Bimal Magar who made no mistake to drill the ball home to win a point from the tie.

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