Jhapa in quarter-finals

- Binod Bhandari, Biratnagar
birat gold cup

Feb 19, 2016-Jhapa XI rallied for a 2-1 win over Odisha State Football Club in the inaugural match of the fourth Birat Gold Cup football tournament here on Thursday.Narendra Mani Limbu and Karna Limbu scored for the defending champions after Sashikanta Sandil had put the Indian team ahead early on. Jhapa will take on George Telegraph of Kolkata in the quarter-finals.

Sandil stunned the local crowds in the ninth minute when he scored at the far post leaving Jhapa goalkeeper Binay Shrestha just an onlooker. The India team made the defending champions wait for an hour before skipper Narendra scored an equaliser. Narendra capitalised on a pass from Karna in the 61st minute to score for the team that was recently crown champions of the Mai Valley football tournament in Ilam.  Karna then completed the turnaround scoring the winning goal in the 80th minute. Jhapa had numerous chances to add to their tally but could not beat the Odisha custodian C Behara.

Odisha coach Nipen Das said his team could not play in the same tempo in the second half as they did in the first. “We took pressure on ourselves in the latter half which resulted into conceding goals,” said Das.

Jhapa coach Bhagirath Ale said his boys took some time to wake from the early shock. “The early goal was a huge setback but we gradually build our game in the second half and were able to produce goals,” said Ale adding that they should still have score few more goals had not Odisha goalkeeper made tremendous saves. 

Morang Football Club will play Rupandehi XI on Friday.

Published: 19-02-2016 13:37

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