Kathmandu, February 26
Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club were confident of beating TC Sports Club of the Maldives in the semi-final match of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong, Bangladesh on Monday.
MMC, who crawled to the semi-finals as Group B runners-up behind Chittagong Abahani Limited, had defeated local outfit Mohammedan Sporting Club 2-0 before facing a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Shaheen Aswayee FC of Afghanistan in the next match.
MMC played a 2-2 draw against Chittagong Abahani and were made to wait for the favourable result of the match between Mohammedan and Shaheen. MMC edged past Mohammedan in head-to-head results after the local team defeated Shaheen 2-1 in their last league match to accumulate four points.
At the other half of the draw, TC Sports, who remained unbeaten in Group A, defeated Abahani Limited Dhaka of Bangladesh, saw off FC Alga Bishkek of Kyrgyzstan 2-0 and played a 1-1 draw against South Korea’s Pocheon Citizen Football Club.
Although, MMC’s semi-final fate relied upon other teams’ results, coach Chirring Lopsang Gurung was confident of winning the battle against the Maldivian club. “We are targeting to beat TC Sports in the regulation period as all the team members are physically and mentally prepared for the match,” said coach Gurung. However, he hoped that the match would be competitive one. “The Maldives team is also strong with the services of a couple of foreign recruits,” he said.
Nepal national team goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu will be playing against the MMC. But Manang skipper Anil Gurung said his team was capable of winning the semi-final match against TC Sports. “MMC are one of the best teams with eight national players, three foreign recruits and couple of young players,” said skipper Gurung.
TC Sports coach Mohamed Nizam was also hopeful of registering a win against Nepal’s national league champions. “Both teams are of same level but we hope to win the battle comfortably,” said Nizam. In Tuesday’s second semis, Group B winners Chittagong Abahani will face Pocheon Citizen FC of South Korea, who finished as Group A runners-up. The final is slated for March 3.