DHANGADHI, Jan 10: Manang Marsyangdi Club reached the semifinals of the ongoing Sudur Paschim Gold Cup on Tuesday. To book its place in the semifinal, Manang Marsyangdi registered 2-0 victory over Druk Star Football Club with the help of goals from Olawala O Afeez and Sushil Lama.
In the quarterfinal clash held at Dhangadhi Stadium, A Division outfit MMC studded with national players--Anil Gurung, Biraj Maharjan, Sujal Shrestha-- made offensive start with quick moves. However, Manang was forced to wait until the second half to produce goals.
Visiting team Druk which fielded Bhutan internationals including Tandin Dorje, Kencho Tobje, Karma Thinley conceded goals due to defensive lapse.
Manang went ahead in the match with man-of-the-match Olawala O Afeez's goal in the 51st minute. African recruit Olawala utilized pass from captain Anil Gurung in the penalty box before firing it into the opponent's net. Similarly, Sushil Lama made it 2-0 for Manang in the 89th minute.
Manang had enjoyed a bye to reach the quarterfinal while the Bhutanese team had beaten West Kathmandu to book its place in the last eight.
After the win, Manang's head coach Chhiring Lopchan said, “We couldn't play well in the first half but improving the game in the second helped us win the match.”
Despite the win, Manang's captain Anil Gurung wasn't happy with the performance.
However, he was hopeful of improving the performance in the upcoming match. “As it was our first match in the tournament we couldn't play up to the mark but we will improve in the next match,” he said.
Druk Star's captain Tangdin Dorje said that his team came on the pitch with the plan of conceding less goals given the attacking strength of Manang. “Our plan was to concede fewer goals and try to hold Manang to a draw but we failed to achieve our target,” said the visiting team's captain.
Manang will now take on Indian team Delhi United in the first semifinal of the tournament while the second last four clash will be played between host Far-Western Football Club and the winner of the match between Tribhuvan Army Club and Sankata.