Teams laid low ahead of semis

Kripa Sharma

Kathmandu, May 11:

Three Star Club of Nepal is all set to face Dordoi-Dynamo of Kyrgyzstan in the semi-final of the AFC President’s Cup Football Tournament, to be held at Dasharath Stadium on Thursday. The other semi-final match, the decider for the final showdown pits, Blue Star Sporting Club of Sri Lanka and Regar TadAZg of Tajikistan at the same venue.

The national league champions, however have some doubtful starters including skipper-cum-goalkeeper Upendra Man Singh, who is not completely fit.

“I thought I’d practice today, but ended up deciding against it. Knee and anke are still painful,” said Singh, who sprained his left ankle during their match against Regar TadAZg on Monday.

TSC coach Dhurba KC said, “We will play with the 4-5-1 format for atleast 15 minutes and according to the game, will decide on sending two strikers.” He further added that the two-day training was concentrated on the tactical aspects of the game. “We trained the boys on shooting penalties and corner kicks,” said the coach adding that the match could go to a tie-breaker.

On the other hand, Dordoi-Dynamo coach Mihail Tiagusov said, “Our opponents are a very strong team. But, we are confident of advancing to the final.” Tiagusov hoped that their match against Three Star would be a competitive one. He further said, “It is advantageous for them to play on the homeground.”

TSC skipper Singh said, “The Kyrgyzs are good at counter attacks, so we have to play the same way as we played against Tajikistan.”

Three Star (5) made it to the semis as Group B runner-up, holding Regar TadAZg to a goalless draw and Dordoi-Dynamo (6) entered the round of last four atop Group A standings.