Armymen thrash Sankata

Pokhara, March 10

Tribhuvan Army Club thrashed Sankata Club 3-0 and advanced to the semi-finals of the 18th Aaha-Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium today.

Sudil Rai, Nawayug Shrestha and Bibek Basnet scored a goal each for the departmental side in the fourth and final quarter-final match. TAC will now face another A division outfit NOC Manang Marshyangdi Club in Thursday’s semi-final match.

Rai opened the scoring in the 16th minute after he scored a brilliant one-touch goal past Sankata goalkeeper Raja Babu Thapa following a pass from Nawayug Shrestha, who dodged defender Amit Tamang before releasing the ball.

The national team striker, Shrestha himself found the back of the nets in a rebound in the 70th minute. Sankata goalkeeper Thapa punched back Bharat Khawas’ header on a corner from Bibek Basnet and Shrestha slammed home the ball after defenders failed to clear the ball.

Basnet then put the issue beyond doubt with his team’s third goal in the 75th minute.

Earlier, Sankata almost took the lead in the 15th minute but Laxman Ruchal’s free kick shot went inches off the target, while unmarked Nawayug Shrestha ended up hitting over the bar following a pass from Sesehang Angdambe in the 30th minute.

Sankata came close to levelling the scores in the 41st minute but Dady Junior Bamba shot over the bar from the edge of the area.

In the second half, Sankata defender Roman Limbu blocked TAC striker George Prince Karki’s dangerous-looking cross in the 59th minute before Army defender Deepak Gurung headed out Bamba’s attempt moments later. TAC goalkeeper Bibas Chaudhary then denied Sankata striker Mesauke Etigne in the 61st minute.

Santosh Tamang and George Prince Karki wasted chances for TAC in the 62nd and 65th minutes. Sankata goalkeeper Raja Babu Thapa made a brilliant punch to deny Santosh Tamang’s powerful strike in the 73rd minute.

On Wednesday, Nepal Police Club will play against Ruslan Three Star Club in the first semi-final match of the tournament organised by Sahara Club under the sponsorship of Himshree Foods Pvt Ltd. Top two teams will receive one million rupees and Rs 500,000 respectively.