Three Star beats Urjen in sudden-death to reach semis
February 17, 2019 11:43 AM NPT
By: Sanjay Thapa
Facebook Player of Three Star Club stands before the penalty shootout during their Jigme Dorje Wangchuk Memorial Gold Cup quarterfinal football match against Bhutan’s Urjen FC at the Phuntsoling Sports Academy in Phuntsoling, Bhutan on Saturday. Photo: Photo Courtesy: Bhutan Football Federation/Facebook
PHUNTSOLING, Feb 16: A-Division outfit Three Star Club has advanced into the semifinals of the ongoing Jigme Dorje Wangchuk Memorial Gold Cup football tournament with a 5-4 sudden-death win over Urjen Football Club of Bhutan in Phuntsoling on Saturday.
At the Phuntsoling Sports Academy Stadium, Three Star goalkeeper Alan Neupane saved two Urjen penalties to send Three Star into the last four.
The match was pushed to the penalty shootout directly after the teams failed to find a winner playing a 1-1 draw in the regulation time. The extra time was omitted due consistent rain which led to the lack of light.
The game went to sudden-death after the teams could not find a winning goal in a 4-4 draw.
In the tie breaker, Three Star’s Ranjit Dhimal, Buddha Chemjong, Sunil Bal and Rupesh KC scored, while Dinesh Rajbanshi’s kick was saved by Urjen keeper Glitsen Jodpo.
For Urjen, Kinley Tenjin, Furwa Dorji, Yashi Dorgi, Gyletsen Jyangpo scored, while Thinley Dorji’s shot was saved by Three Star keeper Alan Neupane.
Three Star head coach Megh Raj KC said that his team had to struggle in the game as Urjen played superbly.
“We were unaware about the opponent team. They played better than we thought. This shows that the standards of Bhutanese teams have uplifted. Even though they have a young team, they played pacy football,” KC said.
“We were confident in winning in the penalty shootout as we had trust in our keeper Alanm,’’ KC added.
KC added that his team faced difficulties in playing in its usual rhythm because of the rain.
“We have three days rest for the semifinal match. In these times, we will prepare tactics regarding our opponent which will help us in playing better than today,’’ he furthered.
Three Star will now take on the winner between Siliguri FC and Kalidpod FC who will play each other in the last quarterfinal match on Monday. Three Star’s semifinal is scheduled to be played on Wednesday.
Both the teams played attacking football in the first half, but could not find a breakthrough with a goal.
Yashi Dorji gave Urjen the lead in the 55th minute, but Mikchhen Lama equalized 10 minutes later.
A total of 12 teams from host Bhutan, Nepal and India are taking part in the tournament, with Three Star and Army played directly from the quarterfinals.
The other teams are Bhutan’s Thimpu FC, Phunsoling SA, High Quality United, Urjen FC, Para AFC, Durk FC, including India’s Calidpod FC and Achham FC.
On Friday, the departmental team Tribhuvan Army Club reached the semifinals defeating Thimpu Football Club of Bhutan 6-0.
The tournament is one of the oldest football tournaments of Bhutan and is being organized for the first time since 2006.