Kurseong beat Dharan in inaugural tie

Dharan, February 22

United Kurseong Football Club defeated Dharan Football Club 4-2 on penalties in the opening match of the 22nd Budhasubba Tuborg Gold Cup here at the Dharan Stadium today.

The 40-minute-a-half match was decided in tiebreaker after both the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 in the regulation period. Sunil Khadka put the home team ahead in the 34th minute after he scored from the penalty box following a long pass from Bikram Limbu. Siddhant Chhetri levelled the scores three minutes from time when he controlled the long pass from Karan Rai before slamming home from close range.

In tie-breaker, Berin Pradhan, Prashant Rai, Siddhant Chhetri and Prayas Pradhan converted their shots from spot to send the visiting side into semi-finals, while Manish Gurung and Hemant Thapa netted for previous edition’s runners-up Dharan. Kurseong goalkeeper Raja Burman saved Bikram Limbu’s shot, while Manoj Rai struck against the cross bar.

Kurseong’s Wangden Tamang was named the man of the match and he received Rs 15,000 along with gift voucher from Bagar House. Sunil Khadka’s goal was adjudged the best goal of the match and he earned Rs 5,000.

Earlier, Siddhant Chhetri missed two chances for the visitors. Chhetri’s shot went inches wide off the post in the 16th minute, while he failed to find the target in the 49th minute.

At the other end, Sunil Khadka could not take the advantage despite being unmarked inside the box after Fode Fofana set the ball for him in the first half, while the foreign recruit had his powerful shot collected by Kurseong goalkeeper Burman in the second period.

Dharan FC coach Sagar Ghimire said his side was unlucky after being knocked out from the first match. “We faced the loss from a strong position due to the mistakes of defenders Biku Tamang and Manoj Rai,” said Ghimire.

“And we assembled the team in a day and the team did not get enough time to set.”

Kurseong coach Urgen Tamang said the team lost momentum after conceding an unexpected goal. “We could not play as per expectation and the players got nervous after the goal. We regrouped in the second half and utilised the opportunity,” he added.

On Sunday, Nepal Police Club will take on Mechi Netralaya Kakarvitta Football Training Centre. A total of eight teams are taking part in the event and the top two sides will get one million rupees and Rs 500,000 respectively.