Easy win for Kathmandu; Dharan earn walkover

Pramod Pokhrel/Rabi Dhami

Mahendranagar, April 2:

Rajan Rayamajhi struck twice as star-studded Kathmandu Metropolis thrashed Dhangadhi Municipality 5-1 and entered the quarter-finals of the central-level Birendra Memorial Inter-Municipality Football Tournament here today.

Earlier, Dharan Municipality advanced to the last eight after their opponents Siddhartha Municipality did not show up. Dharan and Kathmandu will play in Monday’s quarter-final match.

Kathmandu, who arrived in Mahendranagar just hours before the kick off, took lead through Khum Gurung in the 19th minute. Khum easily converted the goal in an open net after Jibesh Pandey’s attempt rebounded into play.

Ramesh Budhathoki doubled the tally two minutes later when he took the ball in the centre and dodged as many as five defenders before firing the ball into the net. Tek Bahadur Kandel of Dhangadhi reduced the margin in the first-half injury time.

In the 48th minute, Ramesh Upreti made it 3-1 for Kathmandu, which consisted of seven national players — Rakesh Shrestha, Kumar Thapa, Anil Adhikari, Nabin Neupane, rajan Rayamajhi, Jibesh Pandey and Ramesh Budhathoki.

Rajan Rayamajhi then scored two goals. His first came in the 53rd minute following Khum Gurung’s pass and completed the rout in the 76th minute. Referee Ganesh Shrestha cautioned Khum Gurung of Kathmandu and Chandradhoj Chand and Sujaya Shrestha of Dhangadi with yellow cards in the match. Earlier, Jibesh Pandey of Kathmandu was replaced in the 37th minute after the striker pulled his thigh muscle.

“We felt a little bit tired as we just arrived today,” said Kathmandu skipper Kumar Thapa. “We will be in our best form in the next match,” he added.

On the other hand, Dhangadhi coach Bijay Shrestha said that his boys performed well against a strong team. “The boys performed well, despite eight of the players appearing in the ongoing SLC examination,” he said.