Three Star in semis with fighting victory
- Jhapa Gold Cup
Mar 6, 2018-A second half goal from Ajayi Martins gave Three Star Club to a 1-0 win over Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) Club to secure a semi-final berth in the Jhapa Gold Cup football tournament at the Domalal stadium in Birtamode, Jhapa, on Monday.
Martins netted the all-important goal in the 56th minute to avenge the defeat they suffered in the final of Bikash Running Shield in Chitwan by same goal margin on Saturday.
The entertaining match saw Three Star dominate the show in the first half with early attempts on goal. Three Star defender Ananta Tamang’s strike sailed above the bar early on before Sunil Bal’s attempt on goal was denied by goalkeeper Amrit Chaudhary in the fifth minute.
Martins squandered a scoring chance in the 20th minute as he ended up firing wide in one-on-one encounter with goalie Chaudhary. APF responded in the 24th minute with Hari Karki forcing Three Star glovesman Alan Neupane into action. Two minutes later, Three Star’s Nirajan Khadka wasted another scoring chance with open net at his mercy following a pass from Dipak Rai. In the 41st APF goalie Chaudhary blocked a Buddha Chemjong shot and Martins failed to score in the rebound.
APF came up stronger after the break and created a handful of scoring opportunities. But despite the improvement it was Three Star who struck in 56th minute.
Martins spectacularly turned in Sunil Bal’s cross at the back on net which ultimately proved the winning goal. Martins, declared man-of-the-match, also wasted a few more scoring chances but credits to Three Star defence for helping protect the lead. Nabin Lama missed a sitter for APF, unable to put the ball in an open net with Three Star goalie Neupane already beaten.
APF coach Ratnakaji Maharjan blamed their busy schedule and lack enough recovery time for the defeat. “We are playing here without any rest after competing in Chitwan two day earlier,” said Maharjan. His Three Star counterpart Meghraj KC said his side was made to sweat for the win. Defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club will take on Sahara Club of Pokhara on Tuesday.
Published: 06-03-2018 09:50