Nepal defends SAG football title
KATHMANDU: Nepal has successfully defended the South Asian Games football title. The U-23 national football team of Nepal defeated Bhutan 2-1 to retain the SAG football title, it won in the 12th SAG held in India in 2016.
In the match held for the gold medal at Dasarath stadium on Tuesday afternoon, Nepal took the lead in the 17th minute with a goal from striker Abhishek Rijal. However, Bhutanese Captain Chencho Gyeltshen cancelled Nepal’s lead with a solitary goal in the 37th minute of the match.
The match played before a full house crowd ended in a 1-1 draw at half time. In the second half Nepal created a lot of chances to score but failed. The Bhutanese resistance was finally broken by Sunil Bal with a beautiful header in the 54th minute of the match. The match ended with the scoreline of 2-1, giving Nepal the second consecutive gold medal in men’s football.
Bhutan reached the final of SAG men’s football for the first time but had to be content with silver medal. Bhutan made a relatively improved performance in the final playing against the host. It may be noted that Nepal had defeated Bhutan by 4-0 in the league phase.