Nepal off the mark in SAFF Championship

Nepal scored four goals in a rout of Bhutan.

Nepal earned itself a clean sheet after conceding two against Pakistan in its opening Group A match. (file photo)   -  SAFF

Nepal bounced back from its defeat to Pakistan with a resounding 4-0 win over Bhutan in its second Group A match of the SAFF Championship in Dhaka on Thursday.

Ananta Tamang put Nepal in the lead on 21 minutes, but Bhutan stayed in the contest until the 71st minute, when, a second Nepal goal, killed the match.

Sunil Bal doubled Nepal's lead and sparked a shift in momentum. Bharat Khawas and Nirajan Khadka scored Nepal's third and fourth to complete the rout.

The result meant Nepal is second in the Group A standings, behind Pakistan, which lost to Bangladesh later in the evening. Bangladesh, with two wins from two matches played, has sealed its spot in the semifinals, leaving Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan to scrap for second place in the group.

Bhutan plays Pakistan next, with slim chances of qualifying for the semifinals. Nepal plays Bangladesh on matchday three, ideally needing a win, to assure itself of a semifinal spot.