Sports

Three Star advance into final of Khaptad Gold Cup

- MOHAN BUDHAYER, DHANGADHI

Jan 17, 2019-

Three Star Club defeated Mechi Netralaya Kakarvitta Football Training Centre 2-0 to advance into the final of the Khaptad Gold Cup football tournament in Dhangadhi on Tuesday.

Midfielder Rupesh KC and winger Sunil Bal scored the Lalitpur-based outfits who recently finished third in the Martyrs Memorial ‘A’ Division League. The tournament offers Rs 2.1 million for the champions and Rs 1 million for the runners-up. Three Star will take on the winners of the second semi-final match between Sankata Club and Nepal Police Club on Saturday.

Three Star piled dominated the game from the start and brought Kakarvitta goalkeeper Dip Karki into action in the 14th minute. The custodian made a diving save to deny Adama Doumbia who was in right place to retrieve a rebound from the initial Ranjan Bista attempt. Three Star were also unlucky in the 21st minute when Fode Fofana was denied by the woodwork.

Eight minutes after the restart, Kakarvitta custodian Karki prevented Rupesh KC’s volley attempt from the area. Minutes later Three Star survive a nervy moment when Angel Gurung shot flew inches off target. Three Star finally broke the deadlock in the 69th when unmarked Rupesh KC headed home after Buddha Chemjong rolled the ball into his path following a cross from Ranjan Bista.

Three Star doubled their advantage in the 80th as Nepali international Sunil Bal scored with a curling freekick from edge of the area. Bal was declared man-of-the-match and received Rs 10,000.  Three Star coach Ujwal Manandhar said his side was eager to brush aside the painful memory of the top-tier league. Star-studded Three Star finished third behind eventual champions Manang Marshyangdi Club and Sankata. “We failed to perform to our potential in the league,” said Manandhar. “It was really a tough match against Kakarvitta but we managed to utilise on scoring chances.”   

Sankata Club will take on Nepal Police Club in another semi-final on Thursday. 

Himalayan Sherpa shoot Birgunj out

Bhusan Yadav

Himalayan Sherpa Club registered a hard fought 4-3 win over hosts Birgunj XI on penalties to book a final spot in the Bishal Gold Cup football tournament on Wednesday.

The ‘A’ Division outfits came from behind to force an equaliser before sending hosts crashing out in the shootout. Birgunj had taken second half lead through Kajim Bhusari before Dady Junior equalised in the stoppage time.

Birgunj gave a tough fight to the Sherpas and went closer to scoring in the first half when Bhusari’s header rebounded off the woodwork. Birgunj broke the deadlock in the 56th through Bhusari who headed in skipper Krishna Shakya’s pass.

After taking the lead, Birgunj adopted a cautious approach and played defensively. But Sherpas’ Cameroonian recruit Junior restored the parity. In the penalty shootout, Sherpa custodian Kishore Giri denied Abhaya Singh and Ranjan Chaudhary while Krishna Shakya, Sisasa Thapa and Kripakanta Chaudhary converted their spot kicks for the home team.

Bijay Shrestha, Ulrich Siewe, Patrick Goha and Rabi Thapa converted for Sherpas while Bishwas Shrestha was off target. Birgunj skipper Shakya said his team lost due to lack of experience. Sherpa skipper Subash Limbu said the change in strategy in the second half paid off. Army Club will take on Jhapa XI in the second semi-final on Wednesday.

Published: 17-01-2019 08:31

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