Armymen advance to final

Bara, January 23

Tribhuvan Army Club edged past hosts Nava Janajagriti Youth Club 1-0 and advanced to the final of the Ruslan Simara Gold Cup here today.

Skipper Bharat Khawas scored the solitary goal of the match five minutes into the second half after a goalless first period. Khawas found the back of the nets in the 50th minute following a pass from Sesang Limbu.

Earlier, the hosts came close to scoring in the 12th minute but TAC defender Tanka Basnet made a goalline clearance to stop Suraj Thakuri from converting a 25-yard free kick. NJYC created another chance two minutes later but Nakota shot over the bar from the penalty box. TAC goalkeeper Bikash Kuthu punched out a strike from Prajwal Thapa in the 14th minute.

In the 24th minute, TAC skipper Khawas wasted a chance as NJYC goalkeeper Tekendra Thapa  had no problem in saving his feeble shot from penalty box on a pass from Tanka Basnet.

After TAC went ahead in the 50th minute, NJYC had a chance to level the scores five minutes later. Niraj Ban wasted the chance in

one-on-one situation with TAC custodian Kuthu following a pass from Prajwal Thapa Magar.

Santosh Tamang came close to doubling the tally in the 58th minute but he ended up with a wide shot on a cross from Tanka Basnet. Khawas failed to score what would have been a spectacular goal after guiding the ball alone from the centre of the pitch.

The hosts created an opportunity to level the scores in the 70th minute but Sunil Khadka headed Sunil Khadka’s attempt towards safety. NJYC almost pushed the match to extra time as they came close to levelling the scores in the injury time. Nakota failed to reach a cross from Sunil Khadka, while Prajwal Thapa Magar shot wide from the penalty box.

TAC defender Bimal Pandey was named the man of the match and he received Rs 10,000. On Thursday, Himalayan Sherpa Club will take on Ruslan Three Star Club in the second semi-final match. The final is slated for Saturday.

TAC coach Nabin Neupane lauded the performance of the youth players from NJYC. “We played against them in Birgunj and Simara. And I am impressed with the game of youth players,” said Neupane. “On our part, we could not convert the chances and were made to toil hard for victory,” added the former national team midfielder.

NJYC coach Sonu Chhetry said his team could not perform as per expectations due to the lack of rest. “We were forced to play five matches in 10 days and the players do not get adequate rest,” he said.