Afeez treble sinks APF

  • pokhara cup
- Shiva Sharma, POKHARA

Apr 21, 2016-

Oladipo Olawale Afeez struck a hat-trick as Manang Marshyangdi Club crushed Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) 5-0 to enter the Pokhara Cup football tournament final here at the Pokhara Stadium on Wednesday. 

Apart from the African recruit, skipper Anil Gurung and Ravi Paswan also added one each in MMC’s convincing victory. The ‘A’ Division outfit will now take on the winners of Thursday’s second semi-final match between Dharan Football Club and Tribhuvan Army Club.

It was APF who had the first chance in the game but Ranjan Bista missed a sitter in the sixth minute. The striker failed to score in a one-versus-one with MMC keeper Bishal Shrestha. MMC took time to settle in the game before Gurung put them ahead in the 33rd minute when Afeez’s shot was blocked by APF custodian Amrit Chaudhary and landed right in front of unmarked MMC skipper who made no mistake firing home from close range. 

MMC kept dominating the game and Afeez doubled up the lead in the 40th minute nudging home a Bishal Rai cross from the goal line. Six minutes later, APF were left out of sorts after Afeez scored again, this time the striker converting a one-versus-one encounter with Chaudhary as MMC built a strong 3-0 lead going into the second half. 

There was no stopping for Afeez in the game as he returned after the break and completed the hat-trick in the 50th minute scoring on a rebound after Sujal Shrestha’s shot hit the cross bar. APF managed to contain a free-flowing MMC for few minutes but Paswan, a second half substitute for Bishwas Shrestha, capitalised on a cross from Sujal to make it 5-0. Afeez was named the man-of-the-match.

The victory margin could have been even bigger for MMC had they not missed few more scoring chances.  MMC, a semi-finalist in the previous edition, had entered the semi-finals with a fighting 1-0 win over Jhapa XI. APF had come into the semi-finals stunning Nepal Police Club in the last eight but failed to repeat their performance on Wednesday.

MMC coach Tshering Lhopsang Gurung said his boys came up with a better performance for the game. “We were below par against Jhapa and today our boys improved their performance. We wasted few chances as well but converted others. We dominated the opponents,” said Gurung. His APF counterpart Janak Singh was left dejected.

“I think my boys were undone by the experience of MMC players. Our defenders gave a very poor performance allowing MMC to score freely,” said Singh.

Published: 21-04-2016 07:33

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