MMC register hard-fought victory

Pokhara, January 24

Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) registered a hard fought 2-0 victory over 10-man Gorkha Brigade team of Indian Army and advanced to the semi-finals of the 14th Aaha-Rara Gold Cup Football Tournament here at the Pokhara Stadium on Sunday.

The three-time winners, MMC were pushed to extra time by the Indian team. Amit Tamang and Olawale Afeez scored a goal each for the winning side. The match went to extra time after both the teams failed to score in regulation period. Tamang opened the scoring for MMC in the 98th minute when he converted the free kick into the goal after Prashant Tamang brought down Afeez. Fed by Anish Lama, newly-recruited Afeez doubled the tally in the 101st minute. Earlier, MMC came close to scoring in the 59th minute but Afeez struck the post.

MMC, who threatened to boycott the tournament after ANFA did not release their seven players, formed a team including local players. MMC had travelled Pokhara with only nine players with the hope of getting their national team players but they were forced to prepare a new team. MMC coach Tshring Lopsang said the team could not perform as expected. “Most of our players are in national team and ANFA did not release them for the match,” he said. We were in doubt about our participation but I am happy with the victory,” he added.

Gorkha Brigade manager KP Rai was happy with the performance of his boys. “We did not win the match but I am happy with the way our players performed in the match,” he said. On Monday, TAC will take on Ruslan Three Star Club in the third quarter-finals.