10-man Manang defeat APF

Hetauda, January 1

The 10-man Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club beat Nepal APF Club 3-2 to enter the semi-finals of the second Tuborg International Hetauda Invitational Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Forestry University grounds today.

African recruit Afiz Olawale scored a brace and Adama Sissoko netted a goal for MMC, while Anjan Bista scored both goals for APF, who returned to action two days after winning the gold medal of football tournament under the seventh National Games with a 2-0 win against Tribhuvan Army Club in Dharan.

Sissoko opened the scoring for MMC in the 32nd minute utilising Sujal Shrestha’s cross. MMC received a blow in the second half after Sujal Shrestha, who was booked in the 32nd minute, received the second yellow card in the 55th minute. But Olawale doubled the advantage for MMC in the 66th minute before making it 3-0 in the 84th minute.

Despite putting average performance in the first half, APF tried to comeback when Bista found the back of the nets in the 88th minute and added another in the injury time of second half but that was not enough for them to avert the defeat. APF competed in the competition with only one day’s rest after winning the gold medal in the National Games MMC’s Dona Thapa was named man-of-the-match and received Rs 3,000 from Forestry University.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung said his team put up a good show despite being reduced to 10 men. “We won the match as APF could not perform as we had expected,” Gurung said. His APF counterpart Ratna Kaji Maharjan said he was satisfied with the way the team played despite having a hectic schedule.

A total of 10 teams, including one each from India and Bhutan, are taking part in the tournament organised by Suman Bhomjan Memorial Foundation under the sponsorship of Gorkha Brewery. The Foundation was established in memory of sports journalist Suman Bhomjan who lost his life in the devastating earthquake in 2015. Top two teams will get Rs 500,000 and Rs 300,000 respectively, while the best player will be rewarded with Rs 50,000. Likewise, the five best individuals — goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker and coach — will get Rs 15,000 each.