KATHMANDU, June 23:CMG Club Sankata and Jagadamba Lumbini Football Club fixed the semifinal meeting winning their respective quarterfinal matches on Wednesday in the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament at ANFA Complex, Satdobato on Wednesday.
Sankata registered a 3-1 win over Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) to send the latter packing home with a brace from Suman Dangol. Similarly, Lumbini overcame a goal deficit to beat Buddha Air Morang Football Club 2-1.
Suman put Sankata ahead from the spot in the 16th minute after an MMC defender handled the ball inside the danger zone. Sujan Maharjan made it 2-0 six minutes before the break smashing a low shot from outside the danger zone.
MMC pressed hard after the break in its bid to get back into contention and cut the goal deficit 12 minutes from time. Roshan Neupane scored through a curling freekick leaving Sankata goalkeeper stunned. MMC also created some other chances but failed to utilize them.
Suman cleverly restored the two-goal margin for Sankata during the fading moments. After sensing that MMC goalie was out of his position, Suman shot at an open net nearly from the midway of the field. He, however, was sent off for improper celebration aimed toward the opponents.
Wining coach Devendra Jung Shahi expressed satisfaction to the team's performance. "We came for a win and I am happy we got our target with impressive performance," said Shahi.
In the second quarterfinal, Lumbini netted both goals after the break to overturn a first-half deficit. Substitute Anup Gurung achieved target in the 54th minute to cancel Milan Dhimal's 32nd minute lead for Morang. Tejendra Pun made it 2-1 for Lumbini in the 59th minutes as the goal turned to be the decisive one.
Losing coach Uttar Kumar Khawas blamed injuries of some of his players as the reason for defeat. "We executed out plans but absence of four first-choice players due to injury cost us dearly," Khawas said.
Lumbini Assistat coach Bikash Gurung pointed out the pitch conditions for their underperformance in the first half. "The rainy weather meant the players found it hard to perform will in the pitch condition. But as the game went on, the players got used to it and put up a strong second-half game," he shared.