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Nepal edge Chinese Taipei for crucial three points

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Chinese Taipei’s task of finding their first win of the campaign was made onerous when Anjan Bista converted from the spot just 3 minutes into the game before Nawayug  Shrestha doubled the lead in the 81st minute at sweltering heat in Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium on Thursday.

With two wins out of five matches played, Nepal remains in the 4th position, six points adrift of bottom-placed Chinese Taipei who is still searching for their first win. 

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Chinese Taipei, already out of 2022 world cup contention, failed to better their poor defensive run, and made the worst possible start, handing Nepal the penalty in starting minutes of the game following a poor handling offense by Cheng Hao.

Bista scored from the spot to register his third goal in the qualifier campaign, all against the same opponent, and his 20-yard curler was saved by Shih Shih-an to deny him his fourth just around the drinks break.

Trailing 1-0 into the game, Chinese Taipei found some momentum with the ball on either side of the halftime but could not create genuine chances to test the Nepalese goalie, Kiran Chemjong. Nepal retained the attacking position and almost doubled the lead with 10 minutes remaining when Manish Dangi’s shot narrowly missed the net.

Just minutes after Dangi’s missed opportunity, Abdullah Al Mutairi’s man scored the second goal when Suman Aryal’s cross found the substitute Nawayug Shrestha who sealed the win.

Nepal will be facing Jordan on Monday to keep their qualifying hopes alive and finding their first-ever three-wins in world cup qualifiers while Chinese Taipei will play against the table leaders Australia on the same day.

Argentina draws against Chile

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Argentina, led by 6 times Ballon d’or winner Lionel Messi, failed to find the win against Chile and left Estadio Único de Santiago del Estero without all three points after Alexis Sanchez leveled Messi’s penalty in South American qualifiers.

Messi scored from the spot in the 24th minute after Argentinean Lautaro Martinez was fouled within the box by Chilean defender Guillermo Maripan. Chile got the momentum into the game through their physicality and leveled the score in the 36th minute when Alexis Sanchez netted the ball home following the free-kick from around 30 yards. Despite some impressive display from arguably the best player, Lionel Messi, Argentina failed to score again because of some heroics from veteran goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and the game ended with a goal apiece.

With this draw, second-placed Argentina, failed to go past their core South American rivals and table leaders, Brazil, while Chile remains at 7th position with only 1 win registered from 5 played games.

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