Nepal's close run to AFC Asian Cup 2027 | Nepal's fixtures for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 2

The Nepali national men's football team has entered the second qualifying round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup. On Tuesday, Nepal secured its place in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers by defeating the home team Laos 1-0 in a match held at the New Laos National Stadium in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

The Nepalese cricket team is all set to play the triangular T20I series which will be held at Mulpani and TU Cricket ground from 18th of October Wednesday in their home crowd. Nepal UAE & Hongkong will be in action for the competition.

The aggressive approach from Nepal

Nepal's young team, which entered the field with an aggressive strategy from the opening minutes of the game, managed to take a decisive lead of 2-1 overall in the two legs. Head coach Annesse made three changes to the starting eleven in the first leg and played the second leg.

Annesse brought Aric Bista in place of Aasish Chaudhary, who was playing at left back. Dinesh Henjan, who was seen as a game maker in the previous match, was brought in as a winger in place of Aayush Ghalan. Similarly, on the midfield side, Aawash Lamichhane was kept out of the field replaced by Utsab Rai.

A must win match: Victorious Nepal

The first leg match between Nepal and Laos in Kathmandu last week ended in a 1-1 tie. Amidst the pressure of having to win to reach the second stage, Nepal adopted an aggressive approach and it also brought color.

The Dangi's night at New Laos National Stadium

Star Manish Dangi scored the decisive goal in the 53rd minute in Nepal's victory. Manish scored a goal with an excellent 'flick' on the pass given by Anjan from a close distance. This is Manish's third individual goal for Nepal. He had earlier scored goals for Iraq and Maldives. However, in the Three Nations Cup held in Nepal last March, the same man scored a goal against Laos in the final match. But because that match is not in the FIFA window, Manish's personal international goals are not counted.

Nepal's victory: a Dashain treat for Nepalese back in home

After a historic run to the second round of the qualifiers, Tuesday night's hero Manish Dangi dedicated the historic win against Laos to all the Nepalese back at home as the Dashain Gift.

I especially want to dedicate this win to our coach. The way he executed the plan we stay on it. Credit goes to all my teammates & lastly it's a Dashain gift from us to all Nepalese back in our home. - Manish Dangi, Forward Nepal

Meanwhile the Nepal National Men's football team head coach Vincenzo Alberto Annesse is proud of the performance from his boys.

It was a must win match for us. Boys put their best effort. I am proud of my team. More competitive matches are ahead of us. Boys will have more opportunities to do better for the country and themselves too. - Vincenzo Annesse, Head Coach Nepal

A busy schedule for Nepal in the next year

The Nepali national team will be busy at the end of this year and next year since they entered the second round of qualifying with Tuesday's victory. Nepal will now face the Asian powerhouse UAE, Bahrain and Yemen while remaining in Group H of the second qualifying round. Nepal will play a total of 6 matches on a 'home and away' basis throughout November of this year and June of next year.

Nepal's Match fixtures & venues for FIFA WC Qualifiers R2

The Nepali team, which has reached the second round of the World Cup qualifiers for the second time in a row, will return to Nepal by Wednesday evening. After that, all the players will be with their families to celebrate Dashain, and the team will resume practice with a few weeks of refreshment, because next month, on November 16, Nepal will start the second round by playing against the very strong Asian giants UAE as the away fixture.

Here're the matches Nepal play in the second round qualifiers:

  • 16 November vs UAE, Zayed International Stadium
  • 21 November vs Yemen, Dasharath International Stadium
  • 21 March vs Bahrain, Dasharath International Stadium
  • 26 March vs Bahrain, Bahrain National Stadium
  • 6 June vs UAE, Dasharath International Stadium
  • 11 June vs Yemen, Althawara Sports City Stadium

Nepal's Mission to AFC Asian Cup 2027

As the qualification scenario doesn't looks for 2026 FIFA World Cup also it's a joint qualification for the confederation cup. The second round qualifiers is a step away for the 2027 AFC Asia Cup. As the 18 teams out of 36 participants will advance into the AFC Asia Cup main event & the third round qualifiers. The 9 group winners & runners up from each group have the chances which Nepal would be looking for. If they somehow stands on first or second in their table, their historic run for AFC Asia Cup will be the greatest achievement ever in Nepalese football history.

Here we will be discussing on the qualifying scenario for the Asian teams through AFC Qualification.

  • FIRST ROUND | 22 teams (ranked 26-47) will play home & away over two legs i.e. two teams will face each other twice. Only the 11 winners will advance to the second round.
  • SECOND ROUND | 36 teams ( ranked 1-25 in AFC + 11 winners from first round ) will be divided into 9 groups (with 4 teams each) will play home & away round robin matches. The total of eighteen i.e. 9 group winners and 9 group runners-up will advance to the third round.
  • THIRD ROUND | 18 teams that advance from the second round are divided into 3 groups (with 6 teams each ) will play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top 2 teams of each group qualify for the World Cup, while the 6 teams that finish third-placed and fourth-placed teams of each group advance to the fourth round.
  • FOURTH ROUND | 6 teams that advance from the third round are divided into two groups (with 3 teams each ) will play a single round-robin. The all 3 group winners qualify for the World Cup.
  •  FIFTH ROUND | 2 teams the group runners-up from the fourth round will compete in a play-off tie to determine the Asian representation at the inter-confederation play-offs.

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