Gyotoku wants victorious Nepal to strive harder

Koji Gyotoku
Photo: AFC

Kuching: Victorious Nepal coach Koji Gyotoku is refusing to rest on his laurels after seeing his side hand Macau a 1-0 defeat to win the AFC Solidarity Cup Malaysia 2016 at Sarawak Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Nepal capped a dominant display with a solitary goal from Sujal Shreshtha in the 29th minute that ensured the trophy went to Kathmandu, but Gyotoku hopes the win can lead to more success in the future for his team.

“I’m very happy to be the champion and our performance was good but I’m not satisfied,” said the Japanese coach. “We have to go back to Nepal and we have to continue training. In this game we had a lot of chances to score at 1-0 and this is our problem. We need to score more and we need to be stronger.

“We didn’t concede any goals so that’s good for us but sometimes we made mistakes. I don’t know how many shots we had but the defenders, including the goalkeeper, played well.”

The Nepalese laid siege to the Macau goal for large periods of the game but, in difficult rain-sodden conditions, Gyotoku’s team were unable to add to their single goal.

Nepal’s control of the game was such that despite the narrow lead they were rarely under threat, with Macau reduced to an occasional speculative effort from long range and caused goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu few problems.

With Nepal’s football infrastructure still adversely affected by last April’s earthquake that devastated much of Katmandhu and the city’s outlying areas –the national stadium remains closed as a result – the team went into the tournament not having played in five months.

In light of the circumstances back in Nepal, the win had added significance for Gyotoku and his players.

“We participated in this competition and it has a lot of meaning for us,” said Gyotoku. “Normally we can’t arrange international matches and that was four matches we had and we were fighting and we could be strong.

“After we go back to Nepal we will discuss (what the future holds). Now we’re just happy.”

The coach refused to be drawn on his own future with the Nepal team, having signed a contract that runs through to the end of January via an assistance programme that exists between the All Nepal Football Association and the Japan Football Association.

“This contract is between JFA and ANFA,” he said. “I don’t know just now.”