Taiwan suffers 6th loss in World Cup football qualifier, falls to Nepal 0-2
Taipei, June 4 (CNA) The Taiwanese men's football team lost to Nepal 0-2 on Thursday, in the second round of the Asian qualifiers for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which resumed in Kuwait after an 18-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to Thursday's defeat, Taiwan was already out of the Qatar 2022 contention, having after lost all five of its previous matches in Group B.
Nepal, meanwhile, retained the dominance it displayed in its September 2019 match-up with Taiwan, scoring its first goal three minutes into Thursday's game and doubling its lead in the second half.
Nepal forward Anjan Bista opened the scoring with a penalty kick, after Taiwan defender Cheng Hao (程昊) handled the ball inside the box, at Jaber Al-Hamad International Stadium in Kuwait City.
The Taiwanese team struggled to avoid another defeat, regrouping in an effort to create openings, but they failed to score, as the Nepali defense proved impenetrable.
With 10 minutes of regular play left on the clock, Nepal substitute forward Nawayug Shrestha collected a low cross from Suman Aryal and slammed it into the back of the net, past the outstretched hands of Taiwan goalkeeper Shih Shin-an (施信安).
Nepal easily held on to its 2-0 lead until the final whistle.
After the match, Taiwan's team manager Henry Von (王家中) said he was pleased with the hard work and determination of his players, who never gave up.
Nonetheless, Von said, he was sorry that fans in Taiwan and the people who assisted in the preparation of the national team has been let down.
With its latest defeat, Taiwan remains at the bottom of its group in the qualifiers, with zero points and a record of six losses and no wins. The team entered the qualifiers in September 2019, and some of their matches were postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Taiwan lost to Jordan 0-5, Kuwait 0-9, Australia 1-7, Nepal 0-2, and Jordan 1-2.
Taiwan's next game is against Australia on June 7 at Jaber Al-Hamad International Stadium, in the Group B round robin Asian qualifiers. Australia is currently leading the group with 15 points, boasting an unblemished record of five wins and no losses.
The winners of the eight groups in Asia and four best runners-up will progress to the third round.
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