Kurseong into quarterfinals


DHARAN, Feb 6: United Kurseong FC of Darjeeling entered the quarterfinals of the 12th International Tuborg Budha Subba Gold Cup Invitational Football Tournament by defeating Pokhara XI 3-2 on Saturday.

Ritesh Pradhan, Kumar Mangrati and Amir Lama scored for Kurseong while Bishnu KC and Deepak Bhusal netted for Pokhara.

Kurseong took the lead in the 22nd minute. Ritesh Pradhan opened the account for Kurseong in a pass set by Nagen Lama. But Pokhara scored an equalizer two minutes later. Bishnu KC volleyed a ball in the net in Ganesh Khadka´s long pass. The first half ended in a 1-1 draw.

Kurseong scored the second goal in the 65th minute. Kumar Mangrati scored after Pokhara´s custodian Prashodh Joshi fell down in an attempt to clear a shot from Kurseong´s Chhiring Gole.

Amir Lama gave advantage to Kurseong with a third goal 10 minutes later. Amir netted the ball after Pokhara´s captain Kiran Gurung was unable to clear a long shot of Rigden Lama of Kurseong.

Deepak Bhusal converted a free-kick for Pokhara in the 85th minute but their attempt to make a comeback in the fading moments didn´t materialize as they could not add another goal to level the match.

Pokhara earned the free-kick as Kurseong´s Arpan Rai fouled Ganesh Khadka while tackling the ball near the box. Arpan, who was yellow carded earlier in the first half, got the marching orders after the second offense.

Pokhara kept the 10-man Kurseong under pressure in the final moments in a desperate attempt to equalize but they couldn´t score. Kurseong´s Amir was adjudged man-of-the-match.

Pokhara´s coach Kumar Gurung said four of his best players couldn´t perform well as they had just returned from Simara after playing another match. “They were tired and couldn´t coordinate well,” he said.

The winners will take on NRT in Monday´s quarterfinal match. Sunday´s match will be held between ANFA´s U-16 team and AHM Kamrujamun Shreeti Sansad of Bangladesh.

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