Three Star Club enter last eight

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 16:

Surendra Tamang scored the only goal as Three Star Club (TSC) edged out New Road Team (NRT) and entered the quarter-finals of the Birthday Cup Football Tournament here at Dasharath Stadium today. Tamang gave the national league champions the lone goal in the 48th minute when he guided the ball alone from the centre following Bijay Gurung’s pass and fired a left footer from a tight angle to give his team a 1-0 lead. Despite the win, TSC skipper and goalkeeper Upendra Man Singh was not satisfied with his boys’ performance. “It’s all because of the lack of training. Boys don’t attend the training and it shows in the matches,” said a furious Singh, who made a couple of spectacular saves during the match. Singh himself is not fully fit. He was injured while practising for the tournament last Sunday. “There is still some pain, I have been taking pain-killers,” he said. Bal Gopal Maharjan, who retired from football after the AFC President’s Cup for Three Star Club, has been training the club after the management failed to reach any decision on giving a new contract to Dhruba KC, whose term expired after the AFC President’s Cup.

Three Star president Lalit Krishna Shrestha, also the spokesprson of ANFA, was reluctant while asked about the coach. “We have not reached to any agreement as of now,” said Shrestha. NRT should have taken lead in the first half had striker Sunil Subedi not muffed up a couple of easy chances to score. Fed by Yugal Kishor Rai in the 25th minute, Sunil Subedi could not convert, as his strike was saved by TSC skipper-cum-goalkeeper Upendra Man Singh. Two minutes later, Rai made a similar attempt but he failed to connect on Subedi’s pass. The 70th minute offered NRT a golden chance to score when its skipper Narendra Shrestha shot a long range powerful attempt, but TSC custodian brilliantly gathered the ball. Singh saved his team once again in the 86th minute, punching the ball out on NRT’s Rakesh Lama’s powerful 30-yarder. In the 50th minute, Raju Thapa Magar of NRT was brilliant while clearing the ball through a header from the goalline as he foiled an attempt from Surendra Tamang and Janak Singh. On Friday, Boys Union Club will take on Tribhuvan Army Club in the first quarter-final match at the same venue.