Sankata stun Manang in Budha Subba opener

Sunsari, February 3

CMG Club Sankata stunned Laxmi Hyundai Manang Marshyangdi Club 1-0 in the opening match of the Budha Subba Gold Cup here at the Dharan Stadium today.

Sankata’s foreign recruit Ernest Tamp scored the solitary goal of the match in the 75th minute to send his team into the semi-finals. Tamp utilised Rupesh KC’s free kick to net the match-winning goal for last year’s beaten finalists. Tamp was later named the man of the match and he received Rs 10,000.

In a competitive match, MMC wasted a couple of chances and were eliminated from the first match. Limbu missed an opportunity in the 23rd minute following a pass from Heman Gurung and the same striker failed to score in an open net after Sujal Shrestha’s header had beaten Sankata goalkeeper Binay Shrestha three minutes later. Also, Bishal Rai muffed up another chance in the 36th minute when he could not beat Sankata custodian Shrestha in one-on-one situation.

At the other end, Sankata also came close to scoring on couple of occasions before Tamp made the breakthrough. Hemanta Thapa shot inches wide off the post in the 14th minute, while Prakash Budhathoki failed in one-on-one with MMC goalie Dinesh Thapa Magar. Likewise, Rupesh KC and Dipesh KC also muffed up chances in the second half.

MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang Gurung rued the missed opportunities and also accused the organisers of playing the 80-minute match without prior information. “We created a number of opportunities but we could not convert them. May be the players are tired of regular matches,” said Gurung, whose team lost to Nepal Police Club 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the Aaha Rara Gold Cup in Pokhara on Tuesday.

“As per the rule, football match should be of 90 minutes. The organisers reduced by 10 minutes and that too without informing us,” said furious Gurung. “We did not get to play full match and that was the reason of our loss.”

Sankata coach Salyan Khadki seconded Gurung’s statement. “As per the FIFA rules, it’s wrong to reduce the match to 80 minutes. We were not aware of the fact that the match was reduced. We came to know about it when the first half whistle went off in 40 minutes,” Khadki said. Khadki, however, was happy for winning the opening match. “We are really excited as we defeated title favourites MMC,” he said.

The organisers tried to defend their decision of reducing the match. “The opening ceremony went longer than expected and we had no other option to shorten the match by 10 minutes,” said an official. “We were forced to do that in the opening match but we will have 90-minute matches from tomorrow,” he added.

Dharan Sub-metropolitan City Mayor Tara Subba inaugurated the tournament.

On Sunday, hosts Dharan FC will take on Durgapur Steel Football Club of Kolkata.