MMC struggle past NRT to enter semis


KATHMANDU, Jan 9: Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) advanced into the semifinals of the ongoing British Gurkha Cup football tournament as they struggled past New Road Team (NRT) 1-0 at the Dasharath Stadium on Saturday.

Although NRT dominated the match with well coordinated attacks, MMC were lucky to beat their opponents with Amar Pun´s lone goal in the dying minutes

Amar utilized an easy drop of NRT goalkeeper Surendra Shrestha to score a swing header in the 89th minute. NRT were in good command during the entire first half but were unable to score. The heroics of MMC custodian Bishal Shrestha prevented NRT from finishing a dozen good opportunities.

NRT´s Danish footballer Shayan Mosavi, in his first appearance in the match, missed a pass from Laxman Ruchal in the 12th minute. Three minutes later, Laxman headed Nabin Neupane´s cross above the pole.

Bishal foiled Shayan´s three more attempts. Bishal dived to punch Shayan´s one-versus-one shot in the 19th minute. Bishal yet again blocked the Danish footballer´s shot from the right in the 32nd minute. Shayan´s another one-on-one shot from Laxman´s pass was blocked by Bishal eight minutes from time.

Meanwhile, MMC were able to shoot on target only in the fading moments of the first half. NRT custodian Surendra saved Amar Pun´s weak shot in the 40th minute. MMC appeared comparatively better in the second half with an early attempt, which was foiled by Surendra. Jagajit Shrestha´s long shot was punched above the bar by Surendra in the 52nd minute. Surendra yet again saved a shot by Shiva Shrestha six minutes later.

NRT missed a good chance in the 72nd minute as Shayan´s shot from the right side got deflected toward the box after hitting the pole of a free post. Bishal was declared the man-of-the-match.

NRT coach Diken Suwal said that three of his players were injured but the loss was due to the goalkeeper´s mistake.

Meanwhile, MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang said they didn´t have experienced players and admitted that they were lucky to win the match. “NRT played well in the first half but we got an opportunity in the end which we utilized properly,” he said.

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