Armymen through to final

Bara, February 15

Tribhuvan Army Club defeated Birgunj United 3-0 and advanced to the final of the Ruslan ninth Simara Gold Cup here today.

Dinesh Henjan and Dip Lama scored a goal each for the Armymen, who were gifted with an own goal from Birgunj’s Bishnu Sunuwar. TAC will now face Ruslan Three Star Club in Saturday’s final.

TAC dominated the match from the beginning in front on 8,000 spectators at the Simara Stadium and opened the scoring in the 38th minute when Henjan found the back of the nets following a pass from his skipper Bharat Khawas.

TAC extended the lead in the 60th minute when Sunuwar netted into his own nets while trying to stop a cross from Khawas.

In the one-sided affair, Lama added another goal in the 67th minute on a pass from Tanka Basnet. Henjan was named the man of the match and he received Rs 5,000 along with the trophy.

TAC, who have already won four titles under the current season, wasted a couple of chances. Santosh Tamang shot over the bar from close following a pass from George Prince Karki in the initial stage of the match, while Birgunj goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri saved Karki’s free kick in the 25th minute and the custodial also denied Henjan in the first half injury time.

TAC skipper Khawas should have scored in the 47th minute but he headed wide from close following a pass from Tanka Basnet, who headed against the bar following a pass from Khawas in the 61st minute.

TAC coach Nabin Neupane said he was satisfied with the performance of the team. “We had a strategy of playing pressure game against Birgunj and we succeeded in the plan,” said the former Nepal national team midfielder. “Birgunj are not a set team and we capitalised on that,” he added.

Birgunj coach Sulav Jung Rana said his boys were physically weaker than the Armymen. “The players could not perform to the expectation and they were dominated by the physically-fit TAC players,” he said.