Know your Opponents: Nepal, Players to watch out for


The Gorkhalis may have been ranked way below India but the host can never take their opponents lightly as Nepal have some of the brightest young talents in their ranks

Despite sharing no animosity politically or geographically, both nations definitely share a strong rivalry on the football field. Nepal in recent years has been boosted with number of young talents that are making waves in the country.

The friendly will serve a much need match preparation for either side in AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on June 13. Nepal agreed to play India at short notice after Lebanon pulled out of a scheduled friendly with the Blue Tigers after facing Visa issue with their players. Ranked 169th in the current FIFA ranking, Nepal doesn’t offer much in the points department for India but just like the host,Nepal football team has been in some good form over the last 12 months.

Barring the 4-1 loss to Philippines in the opening game of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers where they played most of the game down with 10 men, the Nepal football team was on an unbeaten streak from last year till then, winning the AFC Solidarity cup (formerly AFC Challenge Cup) and the BangaBandhu Cup in the mean time.

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Nepal have been dealt with a blow by the absence of defensive duo Rabin Shrestha and Rajin Dhimal on injuries while their most experienced striker Anil Gurung has been dropped from team.

The complete Nepal squad:

GK: Bikesh Kuthu, Kiran Kumar Limbu, Bishal Shrestha

DEF: Biraj Maharjan, Ananta Tamang, Aditya Chaudhary, Kamal Shrestha, Devendra Tamang, Jitendra Karki, Bimal Basnet

MID: Rohit Chand, Bishal Rai, Heman Gurung, Anjan Bista, Sujal Shrestha, Suman Lama, Hemant Thapa Magar

FWD: Bharat Khawas, Bimal Gharti Magar, Nawayug Shrestha

Also Read: Why India vs Nepal friendly fixture is important?

Three Nepal players to look out for:

  1. Rohit Chand

The 25 year old defender-midfielder has been a regular in Nepal team up until 2015 having already notched up more than 40 appearances by then. Plying his trade for Indonesian club Persija Jakarta, Rohit Chand has been in good form lately which has resulted in his recent call up for the national side. While defender by rank, Chand’s versatility meant him playing in midfield for his club, which could be well exploited by Nepal coach  Koji.

  1. Nawayug Shrestha

The Nepal Army Club striker has been in some amazing form lately for his national side, notching up 11 goals in just 11 games. Scoring 3 hat tricks in 2016, 1 against Bhutan in South Asian games and 2 against Maldives in SAFF championship and South Asian games, Nawayug has been in striking hot form and has knack of chipping in important games.

  1. Bimal Magar


One of the most exciting player for Gorkhalis, the 19 year old has already played 19 games for his country scoring 5 goals. The youngster has plyed his trade for various European clubs like FC Twente from Dutch, RSC Anderlecht, KRC Genk and Club Brugge KV of Belgium.  Despite impressing everyone, Magar has failed to attract long term contracts due to FIFA Employments laws and regulations on youth transfer. His technical and off the ball abilities has made him a threat for any opposition.