Nepal vs Tajikistan AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifier match which is scheduled to be play at Hisor Central Stadium taday.
(Sushil Thapa, Fairfax,VA) – The stake is very high for the national football team of Nepal as they gear up for the all important away fixture against Tajikistan in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation Asia Cup qualifiers.
Things are looking increasingly grim for Nepal at the moment. Apparently, players are under enormous pressure to shrug off their lethargy, find some kind of form, perform well and deliver the desired result, but that is easier said and done.
The math is straight and simple. A win is a must for Japanese Coach Koji Gyotoku boys who are languishing at the bottom of the group as the situation demands.
They find themselves in a make or break situation and are desperate to salvage some pride against host Tajikistan.
One thing is very clear, they cannot afford to concede the match.Otherwise, they exit the competition. Already they have paid a heavy price for their mediocrity and failure to capitalize home advantages against Yemen and Tajikistan.
Although Team Nepal is in a relatively easy group and pitted against opponents(evenly matched) of a similar caliber in terms of playing standards, they have utterly failed to show competitiveness and make a fight of it.
What they badly lack is a big game pedigree.So far they have had a hugely rough and tumble run in the competition.
Admittedly, they have not played anywhere to their potential and unable to work their way back into the competition.
Prior to the tournament, high expectations surrounded the team.We all thought they stood a genuine chance of making a strong impression and reaching the latter stages of the tournament.
Not anymore. There is ample evidence that the going has been tough for them, and they have not been able to put the pieces together.
They are truly struggling to find form, underperforming and failing to make the most of the opportunities at hand.
The players appear subdued and uninspiring.They are no more playing with the same hunger, drive, and fervor as they did.
Coach Gyotoku performance has been a big let down and has raised eyebrows. Since he took over the team in 2016, we are yet to see signs of growth and improvement in terms of results and performances.
He has done nothing or very little to transform the team that is heading in the wrong direction. His approach and strategies do not seem to be working.
As a result, the national team been struggling like never seen before and going through a lean patch lately.
It appears though the Japanese has failed to motivate and inspire confidence in the team that has hit rock bottom.
Hiring a foreign coach becomes irrelevant and waste of money, if he fails e to turn things around even a little bit. Why not hire local coaches who are equally capable?
More than the coaches, the blame for the team’s lackluster performance squarely lies with the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA), which is being run by a bunch of corrupt, unprofessional, incompetent and dishonest administrators who are ruining football.
Back to the tournament, the unchanged Nepal outfit is the clear underdogs against Tajikistan.they have a big challenge ahead of them and will have to be at their very best to avoid another disappointing result.
More important, they must overcome the mental and physical block going into the match and rise to the occasion. That said, I still think Tajikistan has the match to lose.