Sankata, Lumbini enter semi-finals

Lalitpur, June 22

CMG Club Sankata and Jagadamba Lumbini Football Club advanced to the semi-finals of the Lalit Memorial U-18 Football Tournament here on Wednesday.

In the matches played at the ANFA Complex grounds, Sankata defeated Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) 3-1, while Lumbini came from behind to beat Buddha Air Morang Football Club 2-1.

In the first match, Sankata took lead through a spot kick goal of Suman Dangol in the 16th minute. Sankata earned the penalty after a MMC player handled the ball inside the danger box. Sujan Maharjan doubled the lead with a goal in the 39th minute. Roshan Neupane cut the lead with a goal in the 78th minute but Dangol restored the lead with his second goal in the injury time of the match.

Sankata coach Devendra Jung Shahi was happy with the team’s performance. “We achieved the target. We came for a win and the boys’ hard work paid off,” he said.

In the second quarter-final match, Lumbini came from a goal down to beat Morang. Milan Dhimal put Morang ahead in the 32nd minute. Lumbini levelled the scores through a goal from Anup Gurung in the 54th minute. Tejendra Pun netted the winning goal for Lumbini in the 59th minute.

Assistant coach of Lumbini, Bikash Gurung said the boys improved in the later half after a poor performance in the beginning of the match. “The players found hard to coordinate with conditions as it was raining. Once the players got settled, they put in a strong show in the second half,” Gurung said. “Now, we are looking forward to meet Sankata in the semis.”

Morang coach Uttar Kumar Khawas said the team could not perform to expectations due to injuries to key players. “We played as planned but we lacked the services of four players who were forced to sit out because of injuries. The players were too defensive in second half. They caught the rhythm after conceding two goals but it was too late,” he said.