Nepal scored four times against helpless Bhutan in Group A. Both teams came into the game losing the first. Nepal lost their opening match to Pakistan and Bhutan lost against host Bangladesh.
Nepal started the match with a high tempo using Bimal Gharti Magar’s attacking abilities. The first good chance came inside nine minutes when Bimal finds unmark Rohit Chand inside the box and his effort was saved by Bhutan goalkeeper Tshering Dendup. Sunil Bal of Nepal also had a good chance to take the lead. But, his left footed shot from outside the box was too high.
In the 16th minute, Nepal built a good counter attack and Sunil Bal was brought down just in front of the box before hitting the target. Bhutan defender Nima wangdi was booked for the foul. The resulting free kick by Aditya Chaudhary of Nepal went over the bar.
Nepal took the lead in the 21st minute from Sunil Bal’s well delivered corner. Defender Ananta Tamang’s bullet header to top corner made it 1-0 to Nepal. Anjan Bista had a beautiful chance to double the lead inside 3 minutes after they scored. But he couldn’t hit the target well enough.
Nepal players were too fast and tricky for the Bhutanese in the first half as they struggle to stop the Pacey players of Nepal. Bhutan also had a good chance to level the game in the 29th minute. Galey Zangpo’s thunderous strike from outside the box went straight to the goalkeeper’s hand.
Bhutan had more problem when their Defender Mipham Chophel Jigme was forced to come off with an injury. Rinchen Dorji replaced him at the back. Despite several attacks from the Nepalese, Bhutan held on to 1-0 deficit until the half time.
Bhutan started the second half with five at the back and tried to attack on the break. Nepal had another good chance from a corner at the start of the second half. Sunil Bal once again delivered a pin point corner which was nearly headed in by Anjan Bista.
Nepal came close scoring again in the 62nd minute when Nirajan Khadka hits the target from long range which was saved by Bhutan goalie. Bhutan levelled the score in 63rd minute with Tsenda Dorji’s goal from a beautifully constructed counter attack, but it was ruled it out for an offside by the linesman. Nepal also had another good chance to double the lead again when Anjan Bista’s effort was hit the post.
In the 69th minute, Nepal extend their lead from a penalty awarded for a foul on substitute Nirajan Khadka. Bhutan defender Nima Wangdi was sent off with a second yellow card for the foul inside the box on Khadka. Sunil Bal hit the rebound when Bimal Magar’s penalty was saved by Bhutan goalkeeper.
Bimal Magar also had a one on one chance to score a third in the 73rd minute. His left foot strike was well saved by the Bhutan goalkeeper. Bharat Khawas add a third within 3 minutes coming off the bench from a beaituifully constructed attack.
Nepal had many chances in the final 10 minutes of the game. Sujal Shrestha beats the goal keeper to find Bharat Khawas and his left foot strike was saved by the goalkeeper.
Substitute Nirajan Khadka headed a fouth in the 88th minute. Sunil Bal once again delivered a sublime corner and Khadka headed from a close range. Sujal Shreshtha came close scoring a fifth from another close range header. This time Bhutan goalkeeper Tshering Dendup saved with his legs. The match ended 4-0 to Nepal.
Undoubtedly, the better and the deserving team came victorious. Nepal will face Bangladesh and Bhutan will face Pakistan on Saturday.