Himalayan Sherpa stun APF, advance to last four

Kathmandu, November 17

Himalayan Sherpa Club advanced to the semi-finals of the first Chandragiri Gold Cup with a 3-0 victory over Nepal APF Club here at the Naikap grounds today.

Heman Gurung scored a brace, while Piyus Henry netted one for Himalayan Sherpa, who will face Tribhuvan Army Club on Sunday for a place in the final. The other semi-final pits CMG Club Sankata and Friends Club on Saturday.

Himalayan Sherpa took an early lead through Gurung in the seventh minute of the match when his powerful strike from just outside the D-Box entered the goal leaving APF goalkeeper Amrit Chaudhary stranded. APF did create some opportunities but the departmental side failed to find the back of the nets to level the scores.

After the break, Himalayan Sherpa added two more goals. Man Bahadur Tamang wasted two chances in the 53rd and 70th minutes but Gurung did not let the team’s third chance go and doubled the tally. Fed by Tamang in the 74th minute, Gurung dribbled past as many as three defenders before scoring in an open net at a time when APF goalkeeper Chaudhary had come forward to stop the national team member.

Henry then put the issue beyond doubt with a goal three minutes from time capitalising on a miscommunication between APF goalkeeper Chaudhary and his defenders. APF also wasted a couple of chances in the second half with Ashish Lama and Bikki Lama failing to find the back of the nets in the space of two minutes.

Himalayan Sherpa custodian and U-18 team skipper Arpan Karki denied Sunil Lama twice. Karki punched out Lama’s free kick in the 61st minute and made a brilliant finger-tip save in the 86th minute to stop Lama’s powerful shot. Himalayan Sherpa’s Heman Gurung was named the man of the match and he received Rs 3,000.

A total of eight teams — seven ‘A’ division clubs including three departmental sides and the hosts Bright Youth Club — are taking part in the tournament sponsored by Hero motorcycles and supported by Chandragiri Municipality and United Cement. The winners will be richer by Rs 500,000, while the runners-up will take home Rs 250,000. Likewise, the best player of the tournament and the highest scorer will receive Rs 30,000 each, while the teams will receive Rs 30,000 as match fee.