Rupandehi-XI enter quarters

Pokhara, February 24:

Rupandehi-XI defeated hoists Sahara (blue) 3-1 in tiebreaker and entered the quarter-finals of the fourth Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament here today.

The match went to penalty shoot out after both the teams were deadlocked at 3-3 in the normal and the added time. Rupandehi-XI will now face African United in quarters.

Sahara (blue) squandered a two-goal lead before falling in the tiebreaker. Santosh KC and Hari Lama had put Sahara 2-0 up in the first half, but Ashok Pun and Suraj Gurung scored in the second half for Rupandehi.

Santosh KC, who plays for Nabil Three Star Club, put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute when he converted a free kick and Hari Lama doubled the tally five minutes later on KC’s free kick.

Ashok Pun pulled one back for Rupandehi nine minutes into the second half, while Suraj Gurung levelled the scores in the 63rd minute. Bijay Pun put Sahara ahead in the 67th minute, but Rupandehi managed an equaliser in the 85th minute through Ashok Pun. Both the teams failed to score in the added 15 minutes time.

In tiebreaker, Bijay Pun was the lone scorer for Sahara after Rupandehi goalkeeper Sawan Gurung saved attempts from Mohan Gurung, Santosh KC and Bishnu KC. For Rupandehi, Nirmal Gurung, Suraj Thapa and Suraj Gurung converted their spot kicks. Ashok Pun was named the man of the match.

In Saturday’s quarter-final match, ANFA Academy, who beat Sahara (red), will take on Mahendra Police Club.