Lumbini, Jhapa enter quarters

Lalitpur, June 19

Jagadamba Lumbini Football Club and Rumpum Jhapa-XI advanced to the quarter-finals of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament here on Sunday.

Lumbini edged past Jawalakhel Youth Club 1-0 for their second win of the tournament at the ANFA Complex grounds, while Jhapa-XI played goalless draw against Nepal APF Club sending the departmental side packing. The results meant Lumbini qualified as Group B toppers, while Jhapa advanced as Group A runners-up.

Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club, who were not in action today, made it to the knockout stage as Group A winners on the basis of highest numbers of goals scored after they were tied on six points with Jhapa. Tribhuvan Army Club, who faced a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Lumbini, also advanced to the quarter-finals as Group B runners-up.

On Sunday, Ajit Thapa scored the solitary goal of the match as Lumbini registered their second straight victory. Thapa converted the free-kick from 30 yards to seal the victory. Lumbini coach Bikash Gurung said the win was the outcome of the changed tactics. “We wanted our players to be friendly with the pitch. We changed some players and gave opportunity to the substitutes as part of our preparation for the quarter-finals,” said Gurung. Jawalakhel coach Naresh Thapa said his boys failed to utilise the opportunities. “We missed a lot of scoring chances. And in football if you fail to covert the chances, we will lose the match,” Thapa said.

Earlier, Jhapa knocked Nepal APF Club out of the tournament following a goalless draw. Jhapa coach Prabesh Katuwal said the team took the match lightly. “We had injury problems with a couple of players and were forced to play with substitutes. As we had already qualified for the quarter-finals, the players did not take the match seriously,” he said. APF coach Ratna Kaji Maharjan wasn’t satisfied with his players’ performance.