SARLAHI, March 29: Manang Marsyangdi Club has lifted the title of Rajarshi Janak Cup Football Tournament registering 1-0 victory over Tribhuvan Army Club in the summit clash on Wednesday.
A second-half goal from Bimal Rana in the 49th minute turned out to be decisive for the A Division giant to overcome departmental side Army in the final match played at Bagmati of Sarlahi.
Bimal netted the winning goal after he collected a ball dropped by Army goalkeeper Maheshwor Shrestha as he failed to collect a back pass from Bikash Tamang in the danger zone.
Manang was limited to the 10 men after Bibek Basnet was given marching order by referee in the 76th minute but that didn't change the outcome.
Champion Manang bagged a purse of Rs 400,000 while the runner-up Army was rewarded with Rs 200,000. Meanwhile, Manang has collected four trophies this season. It has already won Khaptad, Aaha-Rara and Rumpum Jhapa gold cups this season.
After guiding his team to the fourth title of the season, Manang's head coach Chhiring Lopsang said that grabbing the chance saw his team sealing the victory. “We got one big chance in second half which we didn't fail to utilize,” said head coach Lopsang.
Manang was without eight national players on Wednesday as they were with the national team to take part in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers match against the Philippines. It's regular captain Anil Gurung was also absent. Lopsang said that his team has equally capable young players to fill the void in the absence of senior players. “We have great young talents on the bench so in the absence of senior players also we did great,” concluded Lopsang.
He also said that Army was superior in the first half but improved performance from his players in the second half was key behind the outcome. “Army is a very strong team and it played well in the first half but my players came back into the match in the second half,” added Lopsang.
Meanwhile, Army's head coach Nabin Neupane said that his team was unlucky to lose the summit clash against Manang. “We were unlucky today. We hit woodwork four times in the match. I think we were so unlucky today,” said Army's head coach Neupane who is also a former national player.
“We dominated the match, created lots of chances but our finishing was poor. We should have won the match by big margin but due to poor conversion we had to settle for the scond position,” said Neupane.