Kathmandu, November 17
Nepal suffered a humbling defeat against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the opening match of the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier. The UAE emerged victorious with a 4-0 win in the match held on Thursday night in Dubai.
UAE’s captain, Ali Mabkhout, scored two goals, while Khalifa Al Hammadi and Fabio Lima scored a goal each. UAE dominated the first half, maintaining relentless pressure and scoring all four goals. Hammadi opened the score in the 10th minute while Mabkhout put the hosts two up from the penalty spot. Mabkhout added another goal for UAE in the 44th minute, further solidifying their lead. Lima then scored the fourth goal during the first-half stoppage time.
Despite playing aggressive play, UAE was unable to score in the second half, with repeated attempts being thwarted by Nepali players. Anjan Rai, Tshering Lama, and Yogesh Gurung made their debut for Nepal in the match against UAE.