Tribhuvan Army Club’s Bharat Khawas (left) and Manang Marshyangdi Club’s Sujal Shrestha in action during a semifinal match of the International Invitational Tuborg Mai Valley Gold Cup football tournament in Ilam on Friday.
ILAM, April 28: Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club has advanced into the final of the ongoing fourth International Invitational Tuborg Mai Valley Gold Cup football tournament with a slender 1-0 win over the departmental side Tribhuvan Army Club in the first semifinal match on Friday.
In a competitive match, the first half ended 0-0 and Anjan Bista broke the deadlock in the 58th minute to give Manang a lead. Manang was rewarded a free kick after he was fouled near the danger area and Heman Gurung passed the ball to Anjan who converted from inside the box.
The winner of the first edition of the tournament, Army, could not equalize and had to face the defeat. The departmental team was upset as Nawayug Shrestha and Dinesh Hemjan could not convert their shots into goals. Army missed more than a half dozen chances, while Manang’s fewer chances were also missed. First of the many was when Army’s Padam Tamang failed to score from near the post, while Hemjan’s shot from near the box sailed just wide of the post. Nawayug missed a glorious chance as he could not put the ball in the frame of the goal from a Bikash Khawas pass.
Army keeper Bikesh Kuthu made a double save as the first shot from Manang captain Biraj Maharjan as Kuthu brilliantly saved and the follow up from inside the penalty area from Sujal Shrestha was saved again. Gurung got two chances in which the first was from a Shrestha pass when Gurung could not even touch the ball, while in the second, Heman could not convert it from a Bista pass. In the second half, Gurung’s strong shot from inside the danger area was punched away by Kuthu.
Bista was named the man-of-the-match and was rewarded with Rs 10,000.
Manang will now take on the winner of the second semifinal between the other departmental team Armed Police Force and Ruslan Three Star Club which will be played on Saturday.