KATHMANDU: The AFC U-22 Championship Group D Qualifiers started on Saturday with big wins for hosts Nepal and Jordan as both sides scored four goals each over their respective opponents on the first day of the qualifiers.
In the historic opening match of the championship, clinical Jordan thrashed Yemen 4-0 while Nepal’s captain Bharat Khawas and company put the home supporters in rapture with a thumping 4-1 win over neighbours Bangladesh in the second match played at the Dashrath Stadium.
Khawas put Nepal in firm control of the match as early as in the 5th minute but Bangladesh hit back with an equaliser through an own goal from defender Deepak Bhusal three minutes into the second half.
Nepal restored the parity in the 61st minute when Jagajeet Shrestha put the ball past Bangladeshi goalie Sahidul Alam. Forward Sujal Shreshtha scored a late brace in the 66th minute and in stoppage time to put Nepal second on the table behind Jordan with only goal difference separating the sides.
Jordan scored two goals in both ends to start the campaign on a promising note. Captain Hamza Al Dardour opened the scoring in the 28th minute with Mahmoud Za’tara doubling the lead in the 35th minute. Late goals from Mus’ab Allahham and Khalil Zaid helped them register a big win in the first-ever match played in the championship’s history.
Bangladesh will be in action against Uzbekistan on Monday while Yemen will try to bounce back against hosts Nepal later on the same day.
The winner and runners-up of the Group will qualify for the tournament proper scheduled to take place in January 2014.