January 28, 2019 08:27 AM NPT
By: Amar Khadka
ITAHARI, Jan 28: A-Division League champion Manang Marshyangdi Club has advanced into the semifinals of the ongoing second Madan Bhandari Memorial International Invitational Gold Cup Football Tournament with a 2-1 win over the host Rastriya Jagriti Club in Itahari on Sunday.
At the Itahari Stadium, Sujal Shrestha and Kamal Shrestha scored the goals for Manang either side of the halves in the win.
Manang’s Sujal opened the scoring for Manang in the 34th minute, but his lead was cut short by a 63rd minute strike from Umesh Rai before Kamal scored the winner in the 75th minute to seal the win for Manang.
Despite leading in the first half, Manang could not perform as expected in the first half, but as soon as the host pulled a goal back, Manang responded superbly to score the second and win the match.
Kamal was named the man of the match and was rewarded with Rs 10,000.
Manang will now take on the winner of the match between departmental team Nepal Police Club and CFC Bhutan scheduled to be played on Tuesday.
Manang’s semifinal will take place on Thursday.
Manang head coach Fuja Tope said that the combination between the players helped it win the match. “We won the match and the good combination between the national team players in our team was the reason we won, however, the ground was not good enough and it caused us problems,” Tope said, “We could have added more goals, had the ground been good.”
Jagriti team manager Kobid Jung Karki said that losing to a team who won the A-Division League did not come as a surprise. “We wanted to win, but winning and losing are parts of the game. We lost the game despite playing well,” Karki said.
Manang was the losing finalist in the last edition of the tournament, when it lost 1-0 to Three Star Club.
Three Star will take on the other departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club in the third quarterfinal match on Monday.