Kathmandu: Nepal defeated Mauritius 1-0 in a friendly match held at Dasarath Rangasala on Saturday. The lone goal by Bimal Gharti Magar sealed the victory for Nepal.
With the win, Nepal recorded its first win against the African country in its first encounter. Nepal also secured a win in a friendly match after 11 years. Nepal had defeated Bhutan in a friendly match in 2011.
In a match held under the floodlight in the presence of a one-third audience, both the teams were equally dominating. The first half concluded goalless after both the teams missed scoring chances.
In the 13th minute of the match, Suman Lama of Nepal made an unswerving attempt from outside the penalty box but it went over the post. Likewise, Mauritius, in 16th minute, also got a chance to score. An attempt by Steven Nazaria to score a goal was squandered by Devendra Tamang through a tackle.
In the second half, Nepal took a lead in the 55th minute after striker Bimal Gharti Magar scored the first goal of the match.
Nepal didn’t stop here and continued to create chances. Anjan Bista missed a header attempt in the 75th minute. Again, two minutes later, Bista missed another chance. His direct attempt from outside the penalty box struck the top of the bar. The same ball went to Jagjeet Shrestha, he attempted a header but it went outside the post yet again.
Bimal Gharti Magar was announced the man of the match.
“Nepal has a very good team. Despite hitting the ground after two and a half years, we also played well,” said Marie Pascal Tony, coach for Mauritius, during the post-match press conference.
“Nepal also had a good goalie. There will be some changes in the squad for the next match as some players currently under quarantine will return to the ground.”
Similarly, Nepal’s Head Coach Abdullah Almutairi said the match will be beneficial for the Asian Qualifiers.
“The players played from the heart despite missing several chances. This match will help us for Asian Qualifiers,” said Almutairi.
The second friendly match is slated for Tuesday.