Taiwan will attack Nepal from the off: coach

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 16

Taiwan head coach Louis Lancaster yesterday said that today’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Asia Zone Group B qualifier against Nepal is a must-win game and his team would go on the attack right from the off.

Taiwan’s players know that they must go all-out to seize a victory in the 7:10pm kickoff at the Taipei Municipal Stadium to keep pace with their group rivals after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Jordan on Thursday last week.

Kuwait and Jordan top Group B with three points each, while Taiwan and Nepal trail after losing their opening matches. Asia-Pacific powerhouses Australia start their qualification campaign away to Kuwait today.

After announcing his 25-man squad at a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Lancaster declared all players fit and ready for the match.

“We are prepared to take on Nepal. It is a must-win for us and we have to take all three points at home,” Lancaster said. “Our team will go on attack right from the starting whistle. I told them to express themselves fully in the game, without having any regrets. The players must step up their game and must be ruthless inside the opposition’s box.”

Taiwan must control the game and it is important to score an early goal to relieve the pressure on the home players in front of their fans, he said.

“We have to win and pick up the three points. The team must find our stride and play with patience. If we can fully work through the game plan from training and seize every opportunity, then we can deliver a victory for our home supporters,” Taiwan captain and midfield dynamo Chen Po-liang said.

Nepal are coming off the back of a seven-goal thrashing away to Kuwait last week, while Taiwan hosted Nepal in an international friendly in June in which the two sides battled to a 1-1 draw at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung.

Taiwan are No. 125 in the FIFA world rankings, ahead of Nepal at 166, and there is an expectation that the hosts should claim their first win in World Cup second-round qualification.

Nepal head coach Johan Kalin conceded that his team had put up a poor performance in the defeat to Kuwait and that he would make adjustments for today’s match.

He vowed that his defense would play better to avoid giving away early goals.