Photo Courtesy: BFF Anil Gurung (L) of Manang Marsyangdi Club vie for the ball with Farrah Ahmed of TC Sports Club, Maldives during their Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup semifinal match at M A Aziz Stadium in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Monday.
KATHMANDU, Feb 28: Manang Marsyangdi Club’s run in the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup ended in the semifinal after a 1-0 defeat to TC Sports Club of the Maldives on Sunday.
A blunder from goalkeeper Dinesh Thapa Magar cost dear for A Division outfit Manang. Dinesh couldn’t grip the ball despite getting a hand on it during his attempt to collect Maldivian Mohamed Inshaadh’s cross inside the six-yard box. TC skipper Nafiu Ali, who was unmarked in the area, just used his chest to beat the goalkeeper.
After the defeat, Manang’s head coach Chhiring Lopsang said that the blunder from his goalkeeper was the main reason behind the semifinal exit. “Despite playing well, a mistake from goalkeeper saw us losing the match. Our finishing was also below par and players couldn’t convert chances which was another reason behind the defeat,” said head coach Lopsang.
In the match played at MA Aziz Stadium, Chittagong, Manang’s attackers couldn’t utilize some goal-scoring opportunities to beat their former team mate Kiran Chemjong who was guarding the TC’s goalpost.
Manang missed early scoring opportunity when Afeez Olawale Olapido’s close-range shot went wide in the 18th minute. Sujal Shrestha had provided a brilliant pass in the danger zone for the African recruit who has netted three goals for the Nepali football giant in the tournament. In the 61st minute, Olawale missed another glorious chance to score as his feeble shot from the area went inches wide. Before attempting the close-range shot, Olawale had made a brilliant solo run dribbling the ball past TC defenders to get into the penalty box.
Six minutes later, Olawale missed yet another chance when his free header from the penalty box sailed wide. Ogabemiro Olasemi Samson had supplied for fellow African recruit Olawale.
The Maldivian side also missed some chances in the match, most notably in the 22nd minute when unmarked striker Ibrahim Mahudhee Hussain slammed high above the bar in Nafiu Ali cross from the right flank. In the 32nd minute, Ibrahim had another glorious opportunity to score as he made a brilliant run with the ball to the opponent’s box. However, Manang defender Adama Boh Sissoko made a decisive interception and dispossessed TC striker.
After guiding his team to the final, TC’s head coach Nizam Mohamed expressed his delight toward the performance of his players. “I am very happy over the performance of my players as they played well in order to make it to the final. We are ready to face any team in the summit clash,” said head cocah Mohamed.
TC will now take on the winner of the second semifinal clash between Group B winner Chittagong Abahani Limited and Group A runner-up FC Pocheon of South Korea.