Pokhara, February 24:
Anil Gurung scored one and set up two others for Rajan Adhikari in the added time as hosts Sahara Pokhara stunned Friends Club of Kathmandu 3-0 in the quarter-final of the fifth Aaha Gold Cup Football Tournament here today.
At Pokhara Stadium, Gurung put the hosts ahead in the 99th minute through a 20-yard drive, while Adhikari doubled the tally in the 107th minute following a pass from Gurung. The duo again combined to put the issue beyond doubt six minutes later when Gauchan netted his second goal of the match following Gurungâ€™s pass. Gurung was declared the man of the match.
Earlier in the goalless 90 minutes, Sishir Adhikari of Friends Club hit the cross bar in the 28th minute and the visiting club was unlucky again in the 61st minute when Sahara defender Jaya Thapaâ€™s clearance also hit the wood work.
Friends coach Siddhi Byanjankar blamed the pitch and the match balls for the loss of his team. â€œThey (Sahara) had home advantage and were also used to with the new balls brought from England,â€ he said.
Sahara coach Dambar Singh praised his boysâ€™ performance. â€œWe won the match as my boys played attacking football from the beginning as we had planned,â€ he said.
Sundayâ€™s quarter-final match pits two former winners â€” defending champions African United and third-edition winners Manang Marsyangdi Club.