Bhim Chapagain/Republica Players of Sikkim United (white) and CMG Sankata Club in action during the Mai Valley International Invitational Tuborg Gold Cup football tournament in Ilam on Saturday.
ILAM, April 22: India’s Sikkim United became the first foreign team to reach the quarterfinal as it defeated CMG Sankata Club 1-0 in the ongoing fourth Mai Valley International Invitational Tuborg Gold Cup football tournament on Saturday. Sikkim’s Sanjay Khatri scored the decisive goal in the match.
Khatri gave Sikkim the lead in the 31st minute utilizing a through ball to score for the winning team.
Both the teams got plenty of good chances in the match to score, but could not capitalize it. Sankata’s Saujan Rai fouled a Sikkim player and was rewarded a free kick.
Sikkim’s Indrajit Chhetri hit the free kick, but it was brilliantly saved by Sankata goalkeeper Binay Shrestha. Shrestha was named the man-of-the-match and was rewarded with Rs 10,000.
Sankata’s Deepesh Ale Magar got a glorious chance to score in the danger area.
Sikkim got another chance, but Rai cleared the ball with a header to deny Sikkim from scoring.
Sikkim’s goalkeeper Urgen Sherpa beautifully saved a shot from Sankata resulting from a pass from Cameroon player Maxwell Ilon.
Sankata, who won the Rhino Gold Cup title last season defeating the departmental team Armed Police Force, was defeated by Ruslan Three Star Club in Birat Gold Cup semis.
Whereas, Sankata faced a defeat in the first round by Armed Police in the last edition of the tournament.
Sikkim, who took part in the Jhapa Gold Cup last season and was knocked out from the first round by Jhapa XI, faced Sankata for the first time.
Kolkata’s Durgapur Steel, Siliguri’s KFC, Bhutan’s Sunolchu, Bangladesh’s Kamarujaman and Kawran Pratagati Sangh took part in the last edition of the tournament.
All the foreign teams had been knocked out from the first round last season.
Kawran lost with Armed Police on Friday.
India’s Durgapur Steel will take on the other departmental team Nepal Police Club in the last pre-quarterfinal match on Sunday.