Army not taking Paro lightly despite convincing first win: Coach Neupane
February 19, 2019 11:00 AM NPT
PHUNTSOLING, Feb 19: Head coach of departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club Nabin Neupane said Monday that his side does not undermine the capability of Paro Football Club when the teams go head to head in the semifinals of the ongoing Jigme Dorje Wangchuk Memorial Gold Cup football tournament on Tuesday.
“We started the tournament on a good note when we beat Thimpu FC easily in our first match of the tournament,” Neupane said, “We will carry on the momentum of that win until we get our hands on the title.”
A total of 12 teams from Nepal, India, and host Bhutan are taking part in the tournament, with Three Star and Army playing directly from the quarterfinals. On Friday, departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club reached the semifinals defeating Thimpu Football Club of Bhutan 6-0.
Captain Bharat Khawas scored a brace for the team, while Nawayug Shrestha, Bimal Pandey and Santosh Tamang added a goal each for the departmental team with one own goal from Thimpu. Army, who finished fourth in the A-Division League, had lost to Three Star at the Simara Gold Cup in Birgunj, while it had won the Madan Bhandari International Invitational Gold Cup title in Itahari.
“We sure were able to score a goal early on in the first game against Thimpu, which helped us dominate the game and go on to get a big margin win. This time, Paro is a strong side and they have the home advantage. So, we need to balance ourselves in the game and focus on playing our regular football,” Neupane said.
“We were on a good rhythm in the A Division League and we have got the motivation to play well in other domestic tournaments. So, I am hopeful of carrying on that momentum and getting good result.”
Neupane further added: “The Nepali teams have been participating in the tournaments Bhutan organizes. We will carry on the enthusiasm this time as well.’’
Striker Nawayug Shrestha is not a sure shot to play in Tuesday’s match because of a hand injury he sustained during the 6-0 win.
Neupane clarified that Shrestha’s status will only be finalized once the team reaches the stadium to play. On Sunday, Paro defeated another Bhutanese team Jaya Gaun Football Club 2-1 to set up a semifinal clash with Army. Likewise, on Saturday, Three Star also made it to the last four with a 5-4 sudden-death win over Urjen FC.
Three Star will take on United Brothers, who qualified to the semifinals beating Royal Football Club 4-3 in the tie-breaker, on Wednesday. Brothers saw off Royal on Monday.
Starting in 2006, the tournament is one of the oldest football tournaments of Bhutan.