Friends eliminate Friendship of B’desh

Dharan, March 11:

Shishir Adhikari and Bharat Khawas scored in the extra time as NIBL Friends Club defeated 10-man Friendship Club of Bangladesh 2-1 and entered the semi-finals of the 10th Budha Subba Tuborg Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Dharan Stadium today.

After the goalless 90 minutes of play, Adhikari put Friends ahead in the sixth minute of the added time and Khawas doubled the lead three minutes later. Murad Ahmed scored the consolation goal for the visitors.

Adhikari gave Friends the lead in the 96th minute from close range following a free kick from Anjan KC, while Khawas doubled the tally in the 99th minute through a spot kick. Friends earned the penalty after Bangladeshi club defender Ramjan Ali Molan brought down Nirajan Khadka inside the d-box. Ahmed pulled one back in the 105th minute in counter attack. Khadka was named the man of the match.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 79th minute. Referee Kiran Giri expelled Mohammad Kabir Mohasin after the midfielder protested the referee’s decision to caution him with the yellow card.

Earlier, the Bangladeshi team had to substitute its regular goalkeeper in the 29th minute when Nazamir Ahmed injured his leg while saving Nilendra Dewan’s attempt. He had also denied Dewan in the 19th minute.

Excited with the win, Friends coach Mrigendra Mishra said his boys would win the semi-final match against BN Railway of Kolkata if they gave continuity to the day’s performance. He also said that the opponents were weak compared to the Friends players.

On Wednesday, surprise semi-finalists ANFA Academy — who stunned Tribhuvan Army Club and Nepal APF Club in previous rounds — will take on star-studded New Road Team.