Nepal hold Palestine, slip out of AFC cup
Nepal held Palestine to a goalless draw in the last match of the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Group D qualifiers played at the Dasarath Stadium in Kathmandu, on Wednesday.
The Nepali side, which has now officially been knocked out off the AFC's second tier tournament, repeated their same habit of creating chances but failing to capitalise on those opportunities. Palestine never looked aggressive during the whole encounter as they maintained their defences.
Nepali coach Jack Stefanowski put in three Nepali strikers in the field in the dying moments of the match. But even this could not help the Nepali cause. The home side needed to win the match by a margin of at least three goals to claim one of the two spots up for grabs for the final stage of the tournament. A two goal margin would have seen Nepal become a contender for 'top three runner-ups' in the overall qualifying round. According to AFC, top three runner-ups also get a place in the final stage.
Hosts Nepal, Palestine, Bangladesh and Northern Mariana Islands were drawn under group D. With the result, Palestine and Bangladesh have advanced to the tournament's final stage, to be held in the Maldives in 2014. Palestine, which remained undefeated in the qualifiers, has become group winner while Bangladhesh, which lost only one match to Palestine has claimed become the runner-up. nepalnews.com