Subba strikes hat-trick as Jhapa outplay ANA-USA

Pokhara, January 19

Karna Subba scored a hat-trick as Rumpum Jhapa-XI defeated ANA-USA Football Club 4-1 in the 15th Aaha-Rara Gold Cup here at the Pokhara Stadium today.

Subba netted three and Buddha Chemjong added one for Jhapa, while Shishir Bishwokarma scored the consolation goal for ANA-USA. With the victory, Jhapa advanced to the quarter-finals, while the touring side — captained by former national football team member Pralay Rajbhandari — was eliminated from the first round. The last year’s semi-finalists Jhapa will next face Tribhuvan Army Club, who have a first-round bye.

Subba opened the scoring for Jhapa in the 24th minute and doubled the tally six minutes later as they went into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead. Jhapa extended the lead in the 74th minute when Buddha Chemjong found the back of the nets. Substitute Bishwokarma cut the deficit in the 85th minute before Subba completed his hat-trick before the final whistle.

In other notable moves created by Jhapa, Ranjit Shrestha was denied by ANA-USA goalkeeper Allen Neupane in the 15th minute, while the touring side defenders stopped Subba from scoring in the 42nd minute. Subba also failed to score in one-on-one situation with Neupane in the 54th minute. At the other end, Kiran Lama’s free-kick sailed inches above the bar in the second half injury time.

Jhapa coach Sanjay Rai said his side was not able to convert a number of goal scoring chances and they were missing the services of Yogesh Gurung. “We created a lot of opportunities in the match but we failed to convert them. I think we are already missing Yogesh Gurung,” the coach said.

ANA-USA coach Suraj Thapa rued the missed opportunities and said the team lacked coordination. “We could not convert the goal scoring opportunities and the coordination among the players was lacking,” said Thapa, whose team arrived in Pokhara on Sunday.