Nepal vs Afghani Goalie (0-1):Conclusion to Conclusions.

Nepal’s XI: the strongest XI they could think of, obviously. No suspensions.

Afghanistan’s XI:  Goalie and 10 other useless players.

Afghanistan’s goalkeeper put up a match winning performance as he helped his team to edge pass firm favorites Nepal into the finals. Although the men in red started out strong with a delightful opening minute shot at goal from Anil, keeper Kiran made a costly error at the other end to gift the men in white the lead inside ten minutes.  As Nepal piled in numbers to look for an equalizer, they deservedly got a penalty in dying minutes of the game only to see Rohit Chand’s tame attempt blocked. There was a bit of drama in the end, but Afghanistan held onto their nerves to repeat history once again.

Post-match Conclusions:

# The difference in last man standing:
While our keeper could have easily featured in the Blue-Ray cover of “stupid goalkeepers” along with Arsenal’s Almunia and Fabianski (and this guy), Afghanistan’s keeper showed just why the position should never be underestimated. Some of the reflexes that he showed were stunning and the way he positioned himself to block decent attempts at goal was absolutely spot on. Not only was he able to frustrate Nepali counters but made good shots look dull. Although he was rightly castigated for the foul, he was able to pick himself up and show the crowd that he is an excellent short stopper as well.  It reminded me of the time when Lehmann saved Requelme’s penalty to reach the Champions league final in 2006.

Good old days.

# When push came to shove, Nepal….well, simply wasn’t ready.
Sunday’s game was a great chance to show that we had the appropriate balls to come back and win a game. Conceding inside 10 minutes meant that the team still had 80 minutes plus added time to respond but chances went begging. Credit to our boys for showing some character to try and make things happen, however, Afghanistan’s bus parking strategy made life very difficult for the men in red. And even if we had the defense torn down into its bare self, we still had the small issue of dealing with the guy in between the sticks. One does not simply score.

# Rohit Chand’s miss was for the best:
Before you get angry and start throwing shit at me, let us just think about a hypothetical situation where everything went well for us. least at first.

Suppose Rohit Chand did score the penalty. It was likely that, for some reason, the penalty had to be re-taken. Just think about how the crowd would have reacted to that. They would have gone absolutely mental.  The only way the referee was going to get out of the stadium was to call Tony Stark.

Referee in his thick Arabic tone: “Yeallahh Yeallah Tonyy! my mann, I need that suit of yours.”
Tony Stark: “Nope…. Btw, have you seen my boxers? Can’t find ‘em”

Of course, it would have been ideal that he scored for the second time as well, but what if he missed it? B&B’s emergency ward probably would have had to face another patient. All jokes aside, suppose again, that Rohit Chand scored the second penalty after the first was saved.  If, even before the penalty was taken, the Afghanis were planning a walk out, they would have probably done so. So much drama to take for the night, don’t you think?

What we forget is that we put ourselves in that position in the first place. It was not because Afghanistan was excellent in attack. They were toothless, useless and utterly battered in midfield.  We basically took the ball, handed it over to them and all they had to do was to put it at the back of the net. It was as simple as that.  

He was playing in another dimension.
Credits: dai haru
# There’s certainly light at the end of the tunnel, even though it’s dimmer than what we would have liked.
As clear favorites, and with such rich form, Nepal could have quite easily gone on to win that elusive title. This would have not only provided the players a humongous dose of self-belief and confidence but would have paved way for young aspiring footballers to think that they really did have a future in football.

All is not lost though.

One of the tournament’s positive has been 15 year old Bimal G.Magar. I think much has already been said about the kid but here’s what a friend of mine posted on his fb wall:

Spot on.(although woundn't have gone for bale)

We lost but life moves on. There are better things to worry about now. Like sleep.  

Ani sachhi...
Thanks to Nepali family over at Incheon (rijana di,robin dai, anup dai, anish dai, dai ani bhauju) for inviting us over for excellent MoMo: (as always, keeps getting better and better and better). Achar was fantastic. atti tanna khayiyo. Ras auna thalyo aba sochdai.

Pasal kholne ho ki aba? Sauni ko hune ta thaha hola hajur harulai? :P


Popular Posts