Policemen join MMC in Aha Gold Cup final

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, January 20:

Man of the match Ananta Thapa struck twice as Mahendra Police Club (MPC) defeated national league champions Three Star Club (TSC) 2-1 in the semi-final of the third Aha Gold Cup Football Tournament, which has been organised by Sahara Club of Pokhara, here today.

The policemen opened the scoring through striker Ananta Thapa in the 38th minute, when he controlled Kishor Subba’s pass and fired the ball into the net. TSC had to struggle hard for an equaliser. The only goal for TSC came in the 45th minute through Santosh Sahukhala, who found the back of the net following Bishan Gauchan’s pass.

The scores were locked 1-1 at half time. In the 89th minute, Ananta Thapa scored the winner for MPC, putting the issue beyond doubt. Thapa scored following a pass from Ramesh Budhathoki. TSC had a chance to level the scores in the injury time, but defender Anil Adhikari cleared a brilliant attempt from a TSC player. Earlier, TSC striker Surendra Tamang missed an easy chance to score in the 23rd minute, on a chance created by Ramesh Sinkeman. Ten minutes later, MPC star striker Hari Khadka failed to convert a free kick when TSC goalkeeper Dilip Chhetri punched out the ball. Khadka, known as free kick specialist, also wasted two other chances in the second half.

The 54th minute offered the policemen a chance to score but Ananta Thapa ended up with a wide shot on Kishor Subba’s corner kick. TSC’s Prabesh Katuwal almost gave Three Star a 2-1 lead in the 76th minute, but could not capitalise on the opportunity on his solo effort.

“My boys gave MPC enough chances to snatch the ball away by playing short passes, which was the main reason of our loss,” commented TSC coach Sujan KC. In contrast, MPC coach Yugambar Suwal said, “My boys played well today, but it is disappointing that they missed two easy chances to score.”

Now, MPC will take on Manang Marsyangdi Club in Saturday’s final at Pokhara Stadium. After winning the second Hridayendra Cup in Itahari earlier this month, MMC made it to the final by defeating hosts Sahara ‘Red’ on Wednesday.