Friends eclipse Sun Moon, advance to final

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 28:

Birat Thapa scored a hat-trick as Friends Club thrashed Sun Moon ‘B’ and entered the final of the Sun Moon Peace Cup Under-19 Football Tournament, which has been organised by Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), Nepal under the technical assistance of Kathmandu District Football Association, here today. Friends Club will face Machhindra Club in Saturday’s final. Machhindra Club advanced to the final with a thumping 6-1 victory over Sun Moon ‘A’ team in Wednesday’s semi-finals. On Thursday, Birat Thapa opened the scoring for Friends Club with a header in the 43rd minute. Two minutes later, he doubled the tally when he found the net following Raj Kumar Ghising’s attempt in an counterattack. The 45-minute first half ended at 2-0, in favour of Friends Club. After the resumption, Deepak Khabash made it 3-0 in the 55th minute when Sun Moon goalkeeper failed to gather a simple attempt on Khabash’s corner kick and conceded the goal.

Top Bahadur Bista dodged Sun Moon defender Gorakh KLarki and scored Friends Club’s fourth goal when his powerful right footer from the edge of the penalty area kissed the net.

Birat Thapa completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute when he found the net following Raj Kumar Ghising’s cross, making it 5-0 in favour of Friends Club. Top Bahadur Bista scored his second and Friends Club’s sixth goal in the 79th minute beating past as many as two defenders before firing the ball into the net, leaving Sun Moon goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu stranded.

Bishal Shrestha of Friend’s Club completed the rout when he scored following Raj Kumar Ghising’s pass in the second minute of the injury time. Pradeep Giri scored a consolation goal for Sun Moon ‘B’ in the 80th minute when he found the net on Gorakh Karki’s rebound. Karki’s attempt after beating Friends Club goalkeeper Rajeev Shrestha rebounded to play after hitting the post. Gorakh Karki of Sun Moon ‘B’ was cautioned with yellow card. On Friday, Sun Moon ‘A’ will take on Sun Moon ‘B’ in the third-place play-off.