Manang shoot Sahara out, enter semi-finals

  • Jhapa Gold Cup
- PARBAT PORTEL, Birtamode

Mar 7, 2018-

Defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club battled to victory over Sahara Club of Pokhara on penalties to progress enter the semi-finals of Jhapa Gold Cup football tournament at the Domalal Stadium in Birtamode on Tuesday.

The outcome of the match was decided directly from the spot kicks which MMC won 4-3 after regulation time finished in a 0-0 deadlock. Sujal Shrestha, Bimal Basnet, Anjan Bista and Dona Thapa converted from the spot for the ‘A’ Division giants. Only Bijay Shrestha, Randip Paudel and Bishwa Adhikari hit the target for Sahara while skipper Man Bahadur Tamang fired off target and Bhison Gurung was denied by MMC custodian Dinesh Thapa Magar.  

MMC will meet the winners of the match between Nepal Police Club and Tribhuvan Army Club in the semi-final on Saturday.

The star-studded MMC was made to sweat for goal during the regulation time, which never came. The top-tier outfits largely controlled the game but failed to find apply the finishing touch.

MMC’s foreign recruit Victor wasted a scoring opportunity from the area in 22nd minute and Bishal Rai ended up slamming inches wide of the target in the 34th. Two minutes later, Sahara’s first real attempt on goal from Richard Pun sailed high above the bar.

Four minutes into the second half, MMC’s Anjan Bista’s powerful strike from edge of the area was punched out for safety by Sahara glovesman Babu Magar. Victor wasted another chance in the 56th minute, shooting above the bar with only the last obstacle, goalkeeper Magar, on his way. For Sahara, Furba Lama shot above bar in the 61st while Anjan Bista headed off target in the 85th for MMC. MMC’s Bista was declared man-of-the-match and won Rs 25,000.

Sahara coach Kiran Shrestha praised his team to keep the likes of ‘mighty’ MMC at bay in the regulation time. “But luck deserted us in the shootout and we lost the game,” said Shrestha. MMC coach Sailesh Karmacharya lamented on his team’s inability to kill off the match in normal time. “We created numerous scoring chances but failed to capitalise on them,” said Karmacharya adding that his team will look to improve in the next game.

Host Jhapa XI will take on Sikkim United of India in the third quarter-final match on Wednesday.

Published: 07-03-2018 09:18

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