AFC challenge cup qualifiers: Nepal’s road to Male much easier


Nepal have relatively easier opponents to face in AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers this time around then in the previous editions.

In the draw released by the Asian Football Confederation on Tuesday, Nepal looks to be one the favourites from Group D to qualify for the tournament proper to be held in Maldives in 2014. The other members in the group are Palestine, Bangladesh and little-known Northern Marian Island.

Another reason that makes the country’s road to Male a lot more easier is that the qualifiers will be held in Kathmandu in March next year. Nepal had advanced to the main round of the tournament as runners-up behind North Korea in the last edition held in Kathmandu, but the country’s performance in the event turned out to be disastrous, as they crashed out without winning a single match.

The group winners from each of the five groups and the two runners-up will join host the Maldives in the tournament whose dates are yet to be announced. The winner of the tournament will play the AFC Cup in Australia in 2015.

India are the main attraction in Group A out of Myanmar, Chinese Taipei and Guam. Group B has Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Macau.

Laos, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mangolia make up Group C, while Group E has Philippines, Turkmenistan, Cambodia and Brunei DS.      

Meanwhile, North Korea will no longer be the nightmare for the participating teams as AFC has upgraded them to the upper division.

Posted on: 2012-12-12 08:33