Far-Western stuns Jhapa on penalties

Published On: November 25, 2017 09:56 AM NPT By: Raju Adhikari

JHAPA, Nov 24: Far-Western XI has knocked out defending champion Jhapa XI 5-4 on penalties in their own home ground on Friday to book a place in the last eight of the ongoing Kakarbhitta Gold Cup Football Tournament. Jhapa’s captain Narendra Mani Limbu missed a crucial penalty helping the Far-Western go through the quarterfinals.

Jhapa, who had its eyes on defending the title, crashed out of the competition in the first round. The team has been going through a tough phase as it had also lost in the semifinals of the Shatakshi Gold Cup Football Tournament a week ago at the hands of Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC). The Far-Western, which had lost two and drawn one against Jhapa in earlier three meetings, has finally take revenge by defeating them on their own backyard. 

The game which ended 2-2 in the allocated time was sent to penalties in which captain Limbu’s penalty was saved by Far Western’s goalie Ananta Sheikh. Narendra Chaudhary, Chetan Tharu, Rakesh Hamal, Binod KC and Bhagendra Chaudhary all scored for the winning side. Yogesh Gurung, Dilen Loktam, Sumin Mainali and Chhiring Gurung had converted the penalties into goals for Jhapa. Sheikh was declared the player-of-the-match and received Rs 10,000 for his contribution in saving the crucial penalty.

The game ended goalless in the first half and the clash got into an entertaining phase as both the teams scored in the second half. The Far-Western couldn’t protect their lead despite taking the lead two times in the second half. 

The Far-Western’s Bishnu Gurung scored a header goal in the 54th minute to give his team a lead. Gurung, who was free in the box, utilized the free kick taken by Rakesh Hamal to convert into the goal.

 Jhapa played attacking football after conceding the goal. Jhapa’s African player Ajaya Martin scored a solo goal after 10 minutes of conceding the goal. The Far-Western took the lead again to make it 1-2 in the first minute of the four added minutes. Captain Chetan Tharu beautifully scored from a free kick. The referee gave the penalty after Jhapa’s Rejin Subba’s handled the ball with his hand just outside the box.

Jhapa equalized again after Karna Limbu’s shot hit the post and rebounded on the feet of Martin who made it 2-2 in the last minute of injury time. 

Jhapa coach Prabesh Katuwal blamed the referee as well as the bad luck to go behind two times in the game. 

“We were unlucky on the one hand and referee’s mistake on the other made us trail two times in the game,’’ Jhapa coach Prabesh Katuwal said. ”Referee gave a wrong decision in the hand ball situation which wasn’t a hand ball.’’

The Far-Western’s coach Suresh Hamal expressed his happiness in defeating a strong team like Jhapa in its home ground. 

‘‘Junior players have performed very well today in the absence of good players,’’ Far-Western coach Suresh Hamal said. ‘‘We could have won in the normal time, but the midfield did not function properly as it should have.’’ 

Far-Western will now take on TAC on Sunday. 


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