Lumbini, TAC in Lalit Memorial U-18 final

Lalitpur, June 27

Jagadamba Lumbini Football Club and Tribhuvan Army Club advanced to the final of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

In the first semi-final match, Lumbini edged past CMG Club Sankata 1-0. In the evenly contested match, Mandeep Thapa scored the solitary goal in the 86th minute following a cross from Tejendra Pun. Lumbini coach Bikash Gurung was satisfied with the performance of the players. “We had to work hard to eke out a win against Sankata. We had opted 4-4-2 formation in the first half and later changed the formation with a striker and three midfielders supporting him. The tactics worked and we were able to score,” he said. Sankata coach Debendra Jung Shahi said his boys played under pressure. “They played under pressure in the first half and created a couple of chances in the latter stages of the match. The luck was also not on our part. We hit the post on one occasion and wasted a lot of chances,” Shahi said.

In the second semi-final match, TAC registered a 2-1 victory against Rumpum Jhapa-XI Football Club. Dorje Tamang and Prezen Tamang scored for TAC, while Bishwahang Rai netted one for Jhapa. After Abhisek Rijal wasted the spot kick hitting the post in the 20th minute, TAC took lead through the goal of Dorje Tamang nine minutes later, also from the spot.

Prezen Tamang doubled the lead for TAC in the 52nd minute. Jhapa kept on pushing hard and their continued pressure finally paid off when Rai cut the deficit capitalising on defensive error in the 69th minute.

TAC coach Chakra Tamang said his team put in a good show. “The boys were quick and able to put pressure on their opponents, but they lagged behind in finishing. The final against Lumbini will be a perfect chance to take a revenge. We have studied all of their games and we know their strengths and weaknesses. Our boys will put up a good fight,” he added. TAC had faced a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Lumbini in the group stage. Jhapa coach Pravesh Katuwal said the boys lacked in confidence. “Most of the TAC players are from academy. The two penalties awarded to TAC also panicked our players in the first half. However, we improved our performance in the second half but could not avert defeat,” Katuwal added.