MMC set up title clash with Three Star


KATHMANDU, Jan 14: Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) beat spirited Machhindra Club 4-3 in a tiebreaker on Thursday at the Dasharath Stadium to set up title clash with Nabil Three Star Club in the British Gurkha Cup Football Tournament.

Rohit Chand and second-half substitute Om Prakash failed to convert the spot kicks for Machhindra in the tiebreaker held after the club played goalless draw in the regulation and added time.

MMC custodian Bishal Shrestha blocked two shots to emerge the hero of the victory. Bishnu KC, Naresh Pokharel and Rupesh KC scored for Machhindra.

For MMC, Shiva Shrestha, Palsang Lama and Jagjeet Shrestha converted three consecutive spot-kicks but the fourth one taken by Niraj Remi Magar was denied by Tirtha Rijal.

Skipper Tashi Tshering converted the last spot-kick to steer the team towards the highest prize money in Nepal’s knock-out football history.

Earlier, both teams came up with dull show with very few moves and goal attempts. MMC enjoyed more ball possession but could only make an impressive goal attempt in the first half.

Prabin Saiju’s free-kick from outside the box was punched out. Machhindra missed a chance in 31st minute as Babulal Hasda and Pukar Ale left the good cross off Bishal for each other.

In the second half, Machhindra made a couple of remarkable attempts to score. Karna Limbu squandered one-versus-one chance with goalie Bishal in 79th minute. A few minutes later, Karna’s header of a corner went direct into the goalkeeper’s hand. He also hit one above the bar in 115th minute.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang remained dissatisfied with team’s performance despite victory. “We can’t make good moves in the entire match and there were weaknesses in the strikers and midfielders,” Lopsang said. “Our aim was to win the match in the regular time.”

Machhindra coach Narottam Shakya believed luck did not favor them. “We squandered four to five chances. The boys worked hard but the luck did not favor us,” Shakya said.

The final will be played on Sunday.

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