Rags versus riches as Socceroos host Nepal

Australia are expected to thrash Nepal when the teams meet in a World Cup qualifier in Canberra on Thursday night.

AARON MOOY of the Socceroos in Melbourne, Australia.
AARON MOOY of the Socceroos in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

It's shaping up as a mismatch on and off the field with the Socceroos' World Cup qualifier clash with Group B minnows Nepal a true rags versus riches story.

Australia are expected to thrash Nepal when the teams meet in Canberra on Thursday night.

There hasn't been a Nepalese domestic league since 2015, initially because of an earthquake and then due to mismanagement from officials.

That same year, former Nepalese federation president Ganesh Thapa was banned by FIFA for 10 years on bribery charges.

Nepal are ranked 166 in the world and some players facing the Socceroos are not even full-time professionals.

Australia on the other hand, have players from top leagues around the world, including Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan who play in the English Premier League for Brighton.

There is also a shortage of elite pitches in Nepal and the national stadium has been closed since the earthquake.

Nepal coach Johan Kalin admits their lack of resources will make it tougher getting out of Group B, where they face Australia, Jordan, Kuwait and Taiwan.

But they were last-start winners against Taiwan and the Swedish manager hopes these World Cup qualifiers are the start of a new era.

"Of course, there has been some tough, tough years for Nepalese football," Kalin said.

"In November, we hope we can play at our home stadium which has been closed since the earthquake in 2015.

"We try to build some new players and educate players about our game, but of course compared to a team like Australia, the resources, the difference is massive, that's for sure.

"We know where we are and where they are and and we need to accept that and work from that.

"Quality-wise the players of Australia are at a very high level, we watch them in Premier League, but it's a great motivation for the players because it's a great opportunity to play against players at this level."


AAP