TAC survive Sankata kids’ scare

Kathmandu, September 19 :

Bikarna Shrestha’s first half injury-time goal catapulted Tribhuvan Army Club (TAC) to a 1-0 win over the Sankata Club and a place in the final of the Subarna Shumsher Memorial Knockout Football Tournament at the Dasharath Stadium today.

Bikarna scored the winners one minute into the first half injury-time, heading home following Ram Kumar Biswas pass inside the box. The heavy downpour after the halftime helped a the Armymen a lot to hold on their lead. On one occasion, Bharat Khawas’ strike rolled past TAC goalkeeper Ganga Ram Deuja and stopped on the goalline, thanks to a ditch filled with water created by the rain.

Exulted by their win over the Ranipokhari Corner Team in the first round, the young guns of Sankata were at their best from the begining, creating couple of early chances. Khawas shot just wide of the target in the 26th minute. Three minutes later, Anil Ojha and Chetan Ghimire both wasted golden opportunities to provide Sankata the lead. A long range midfield supply created a wonder chance but Anil and Chetan miscued their shots one after another from the six-yard box.

TAC made their first assult in the 43rd minute but Sankata goalie Rupak Shrestha denied them the lead. Rupak made a brilliant save in a solitary encounter with Raju Tamang. In the 44th minute, Anil Ojha blocked Biswas’ header in the goalline but TAC’s third attempt paid off and Bikarna scored the ultimate decider. TAC almost doubled their lead in the 68th minute when Biswas hit the woodwork before Sankata goalie Rupak made a good save on Bikarna’s shot on rebound.

“Our plan was to play long passes and air ball, and that worked,” said TAC manager Colonel Binod Singh Bista.

Bista said that he was satisfied with the result as their skipper Janamat Karki was ruled out due to injury and Shiva Chaudhary had to leave halfway injured in collision with Anil Ojha. Bista praised the opponents for their technical superiority.