Sankata edge past Bhutanese club, enter quarter-finals

Hetauda, January 2

CMG Club Sankata entered the quarter-finals of the second Tuborg Hetauda Gold Cup International Invitational Football Tournament here at the Forestry University grounds today.

The Kathmandu-based Sankata defeated Druk Star FC of Bhutan 1-0 riding on the solitary goal from Anil Gurung. Sankata will now face Tribhuvan Army Club for a place in the last four. At a time when the match was heading towards a draw, Gurung found the back of the nets in the 84th minute to seal the victory. Gurung was named the man-of-the-match and received Rs 3,000.

Both the teams created a couple of scoring chances but failed to convert them. Sankata coach Shailesh Karmacharya said the team failed to perform as expected because of the absence of the senior players. “As the dates clashed with a tournament in Jhapa, most of the senior players of the team are playing there. Still we were able to eke out a victory against a strong team from Bhutan,” Karmacharya said. “We will include other players in our next match.”

Druk Star coach Kota Namge said his team missed the services of experienced players. “The senior players of our team did not get leave from their jobs and that affected our performance badly,” Namge said. “And we came here with a short preparation which was one of the reasons of the loss. We will manage everything properly before coming here from next edition,” he added.

In Tuesday’s quarter-final match, Sahara will play against Delhi United Club of India. While Sahara made it to the quarter-finals beating Nepal Police Club, the Indian team had a first round bye. Bijay Youth Club of Hetauda and defending champions Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club have already advanced to the semi-finals.

A total of 10 teams, including one each from India and Bhutan, are taking part in the tournament organised by Suman Bhomjan Memorial Foundation under the sponsorship of Gorkha Brewery. The Foundation was established in memory of sports journalist Suman Bhomjan who lost his life in the devastating earthquake that jolted the nation in 2015. Top two teams will receive Rs 500,000 and Rs 300,000 respectively, while the best player will be rewarded with Rs 50,000. Likewise, the five best individuals — goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker and coach — will get Rs 15,000 each.