Nepal crowned AFC Solidarity Cup 2016 champions
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
A solitary first half
goal from Sujal Shreshtha was enough to seal a 1-0
victory for Nepal over Macau in the final of the AFC
Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 at Sarawak Stadium on
Shreshtha scored in the 29th
minute to give Nepal the title and cap an impressive
performance throughout the tournament that saw Koji
Gyotoku’s side emerge as the champions.
dominated from start to finish in difficult conditions
but, while Macau’s defence held firm for the majority of
the game, Tam Iao San’s team rarely threatened at the
other end of the pitch.
Nicholas Torrao and
midfielder Pan Chi Hang overcame fitness concerns to
start for Macau while Nepal coach Gyotoku named the same
starting line-up that saw off Laos in a penalty shootout
in the semi-finals.
With heavy rain having fallen
just before kick-off, the conditions were difficult for
both sides but despite the surface water on the pitch
Nepal still managed to control the opening exchanges.
Bharat Khawas went close to opening the scoring in
the 14th minute when he burst down the right before
firing a low shot towards the far corner that just slid
wide of the post.
Fourteen minutes later, the
Nepalese went closer still when Anjan Bista smashed his
shot from the edge of the area towards goal, only for
goalkeeper Ho Man Fai to punch the ball over the bar.
Less than a minute later, however, Nepal took the lead.
Khawas outpaced Kong Cheng Hou down the Macau left
before cutting back a perfect lofted ball towards the
far post that Shreshtha powered home with his head,
directing the ball back across goal and into the far
The lead was well deserved for a Nepal
side that help the upper hand throughout the half, and
Gyotoku’s side could have added a second late in the
half, but Nawayug Shrestha’s header flew across the face
Macau offered little in the attacking
third of the pitch, with Lao Pak Kin’s long range
attempt at goal with a 65th minute free kick a rare
attempt at goal for the side from the former Portuguese
Instead, it was Nepal who looked more
likely to score the game’s second with Bimal Gharti
Magar particularly assertive as the midfielder tried his
luck repeatedly from distance throughout the second
None of his efforts seriously troubled
Macau goalkeeper Ho, but it mattered little as
Shreshtha’s header was enough to ensure the trophy goes
back with the Nepalese to Kathmandu.
Source: The Asian Football Confederation