Register 2-1 extra time victory over Kathmandu RayZrs in first qualifier match of Khukri NSL


Bishal Rai scored the winning goal in extra time as Dhangadhi Football Club came from behind to defeat Kathmandu RayZrs 2-1 and advance to the final of the Khukri Nepal Super League match here at the Dasharath Stadium today.

The match was decided in extra time after both the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 in the regulation period of the qualifier match. Marquee player Rai found the back of the nets in the 108th minute following a header pass from substitute Ramesh Dangal, three minutes after he came in place of Oladipo Olawale Afeez. Anjan Rai came close to levelling the scores in the space of three minutes but he wasted both opportunities.

Earlier, Kathmandu took the lead in 75th minute through Tej Tamang when he headed home on a cross from Messouke E Oloumou. Kathmandu's joy did not last long as Dhangadhi netted the equaliser three minutes later. Pujan Uperkoti scored a spectacular goal with an overhead kick after goalkeeper Bikesh Kuthu punched Nishan Limbu's corner kick and the defenders failed to clear the ball.

Kathmandu were unlucky in the 16th minute after Stephen Binong struck against the cross bar, while Sudil Rai failed to control the ball in rebound.

Afeez came close to opening the score for Dhangadhi in the 17th minute but Nishan Rai made timely intervention, while Dhangadhi skipper and goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu made a brilliant save to deny Sudil Rai in the 37th minute.

Dhangadhi came close to extending the lead in the 89th minute but Kathmandu custodian Kuthu saved a shot from Soujan Rai pushing the match to extra time.

Franklin Kuete Talla of Dhangadhi was named the man of the match and he received Rs 25,000, while his teammate Soujan Rai bagged the emerging player's award and Rs 10,000. Despite the loss, Kathmandu will get another chance to make it to the final. On Wednesday, Lalitpur City FC will take on Butwal Lumbini FC in the eliminator match and the winners will meet Kathmandu in the second qualifier on Thursday. The final is slated for Saturday.

A total of seven teams are taking part in the first-ever franchise-based football tournament organised by Nepal Sports and Event Management Pvt Ltd. The winners and runners-up will receive Rs 3.5 million and Rs 1.5 million respectively, while the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward and emerging player will get Rs 100,000 each.