Louis Lancaster’s Taiwan suffered another setback on Friday as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Nepal.
Playing in Kaohsiung in their new neon pink 3rd strip, Taiwan (FIFA world ranking 125) found themselves frustrated by a well-organised Nepal (161) side. The game followed an increasingly familiar pattern for the Taiwanese; with Taiwan committed to playing a passing game along the ground, but failing to consistently penetrate a compact defence.
Taiwan had made a solid start to the game, they dominated possession against a limited Nepal and were rewarded when a header at the back post was turned in at the second attempt by Wu Chun-ching in the 40th minute. However, despite being the technically superior side, Taiwan suffered from a familiar weakness. Throughout the game, they were far too slow in possession and played in front of Nepal’s back line, with few opportunities to get behind the Nepal defence.
Taiwan’s lack of goal threat, combined with sloppy play, eventually allowed Nepal a route back into the game. Too often, Taiwan’s players dawdled on the ball and made simple mistakes when pressed, putting unnecessary pressure on a nervous-looking defence. When Nepal equalised midway through the second half, it came from a Taiwanese error. Goal scorer Wu Chun-ching was caught in possession and gave away a cheap free in his own half. From the resulting free kick, Nepal’s Abhishek Rijal escaped some static defending to power a header past Pan Wen-chieh.
Although Taiwan pushed hard for a second goal after Nepal had equalised, they were unable to fashion any serious goal threat and were reduced to desperate long balls into the box as the game closed with Nepal holding out for a deserved draw.
Taiwan’s Starting XI: