AFC Women’s Asia Cup Selection: Nepal vs Philippines today

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AFC Women's Asia Cup
Photo: Onlinekhabar


The Nepali national women’s football team is in Uzbekistan to play in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers. AFC Women’s Asia Cup 2022

Nepal, which is in Group F, is starting its selection journey by playing against the Philippines today.

When Nepal’s women’s team plays competitive football for the first time since 2019, the national team’s top scorer Savitra Bhandari will play without Samba.

For the first time since 2014, Samba is not in the Nepali team. She underwent surgery in Qatar for a knee injury and is currently in rehabilitation. The Nepali team will definitely miss Samba.

In next year’s Asian Cup qualifiers in India, Nepal will play the Philippines and Hong Kong.¬†The top team in this group will be selected for the Asia Cup.¬†Therefore, both group games are important for the Nepali team.

It is also a challenge to compete with a team stronger than you in the first game.

The Nepali team is playing this time with different circumstances, different locations, and different strategies. For the first time, foreign coach Gary Phillips is on the team.

The Philippines is 33 places above Nepal in the FIFA rankings. The Philippines is ranked 68th and Nepal is ranked 101st. Hong Kong is ranked 76th.

Nepali women’s team has played Asia Cup three times so far. The last time Nepal played an Asia Cup was in 1999. After 22 years, the Nepali team is excited to play in the Asia Cup qualifiers and is entering the field with enthusiasm and vigor to be selected.

Nepali team captain Renuka Nagarkote said that everyone is excited to play in the Asia Cup qualifiers. “Everyone on the team is excited to play. This is the first time the current team has been selected for the AFC Cup. So we are happy that all the preparations have been completed. Renuka said the day before the game.

She said that two months of preparation in Nepal and two friendly games also helped a lot and she got to know about the condition of the team. “We have been preparing in Nepal for two months. We also played two friendly games. That has also helped, ‘said Renuka.

“It simply came to our notice then. We would have known if we had played ourselves. After playing two games, help has come in preparation. We are now focused on improving the weaknesses there and how to move forward and make choices. ‘

Renuka said that there is a possibility of selection even if both the teams are above Nepal in the rankings.¬†“Speaking of chances, both teams are good.¬†But we have also lost a good team and played a draw, ‘said Renuka.’ If we can play our game well, there is a chance of selection.¬†We had earlier beaten Hong Kong 3-1.¬†If the morale is high and if you play well, there is a possibility. ‘

Although Renuka did not get to train for a long time, she said that the strong side of Nepal is enthusiasm.¬†“Our strength is that everyone plays with enthusiasm.¬†Not much training.¬†We have the same experience to play, ‘said Renuka,’ the weak side is in the score.¬†He plans to improve in the first game.¬†We try to make the weak strong. ‘

Similarly, coach Gary Phillips, who toured with Nepal’s women’s team for the first time, is also excited. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to play this game. This is a great opportunity for the team. We have worked very hard. There are a lot of new players and I look forward to seeing them play, ‚ÄĚhe said.

Phillips said he would move forward with a plan to do better despite various challenges.¬†“It was a challenge from the beginning.¬†Injuries to players, affected by Covid-19.¬†There is a challenge in football.¬†There is also a mental challenge.¬†Travel also makes you tired.¬†We have to overcome this challenge, ‚ÄĚsaid Phillips.‚Äú Next, we have to play at 37 degrees.¬†It is very hot.¬†I am confident that they will play well.¬†There is a mental challenge.¬†You have to be mentally prepared. ‘

He said that Nepal should play collectively as the Philippines has played the Asian Cup before. ‘Everything is different here. There are challenges everywhere in football. We should try to control the game and control the temper, ‘he said.

He also said that you have to score a goal to win the game. “We have to score to win the game,” he said. We have to play together to win the game. You have to play as a team. We should not give space to the opposition by being compact. They are professional players. There are good players. We don’t give space. ‘

Phillips said that when Samba is not in the team, others should play according to his ability. We are trying to play in a new way. If Renuka and Geeta play well, they will play well by staying close to him. We have the passion of an experienced and youth player.

Similarly, Hari Khadka, head of ANFA women’s football department and former women’s Tika coach, who went to Uzbekistan with the Nepali team, said that everyone should work hard when playing against a team stronger than them. “The coach tries to play by making a balanced team. We have to do a lot of hard work, ‘he said.

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