Manang Marsyangdi Club in do-or-die situation

Kuching, May 12:

Nepali national league champions Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) have no option other than winning against FC Vashkh of Tajikistan in order to enliven their chance to qualify for the second round of the AFC President’s Cup football tournament on Saturday.

After losing its first match against Ratnam Sports Club of Sri Lanka on Wednesday, MMC came under intense pressure of winning both the remaining matches.

MMC will face Dordoi Dynamo on Monday. The prospect of MMC advancing to the last four, however, looks bleak considering the strength of the two former Russian block teams.

MMC coach Chhiring Lobsang Gurung indicated that he would field the same set that played against Rantam SC on Wednesday.

“We lost the game despite playing better,” Gurung said, adding that the result had put them in a do-or-die situation. Skipper Tashi Tsering (knee), Nabin Neupane (ankle), goalkeeper Sandip Rai (foot) and Basanta Gauchan (back-muscle) were injured in the first game, but are

not likely to miss the Saturday’s match. Team doctor Rajiv Jha said that all the injured players would be fit by before the match.

MMC will have a tough time playing against the well-built Vashkh players’ power game. FC Vashkh came in the tournament replacing last year’s winner Regar Tadaz, who failed to win the Tajikistani league to qualify for the championship. Three Star represented Nepal in the first edition and failed to repeat the feat after they finished second to MMC in the national league.

Vashkh caoch Uraz Turaqulov said he was looking for a win for a spot in the semi-finals. “We will do everything we can to win the match,” he added. “We have taken MMC as a strong opponent,” said the Vashkh coach. “MMC is a teachnically sound team and we will go out with counter-attack and long passes to beat the Nepali league champions,” he added.