Oloumou brace sends Kathmandu Rayzrs into Nepal Super League finalCoach Bal Gopal Maharjan’s men thrash Lalitpur City 3-0 to set up title showdown against Dhangadhi FC.
A first-half brace from Cameroonian forward Messouke E Oloumou secured Kathmandu Rayzrs a 3-0 victory over Lalitpur City in the second qualifier match on Thursday and set up the title showdown against Dhangadhi FC in the Nepal Super League football tournament.
At the Dasharath Stadium, Cameroonian forward Oloumou struck twice inside 22 minutes to give Lalitpur an advantage and take his scoring tally to the highest seven goals. His compatriot Stephen Binong put the result beyond doubt by adding a third early in the second half against an exhausted Lalitpur side, who came into the match just a day after defeating Butwal Lumbini 1-0 in the eliminator. Coach Bal Gopal Maharjan’s Kathmandu played their last match on Tuesday.
The outcome pits Kathmandu against Dhangadhi, who have defeated them twice in the tournament including a 3-0 victory in the league round and a 2-1 win in the playoff, in the summit clash scheduled for Saturday.
"The players were exhausted and they failed to capitalise on scoring chances in the early moments," said Lalitpur coach Raju Tamang at the post-match conference.
"Kathmandu's foreign recruits played very well. They were successful in converting opportunities," he added.
Both the teams started off on an offensive and the match could have gone the other way had Lalitpur not wasted two golden chances in the first half. Croatian forward Vilim Posinkovic wasted a sitter for Lalitpur in the eighth minute as he tapped wide from a close range before an empty net in Nurlan Novruzov Zahid cross after the latter was fed brilliantly by captain Anjan Bista.
Kathmandu responded a minute later when Cameroonian forward Binong’s tight angle shot ricocheted off Lalitpur defender Peter Segun and rattled the upright. Ashish Rai found the rebound but fired wide.
Kathmandu opened the scoring in the 13th minute through a penalty after Oloumou was brought down in the area by Kamal Shrestha, prompting referee Prajwol Chhetri to point towards the spot. The Cameroonian forward shot the resulting penalty aiming left but goalie Arpan Karki could not stop the ball despite getting his hand on the ball.
Oloumou doubled the advantage in the 22nd when his left-footed low shot from inside the box beat the goalkeeper and found the bottom corner, despite being marked tightly by Segun.
In the 28th, Gaurav Budhathoki wasted a chance to cut the deficit when he found Bista’s perfectly placed pass just outside the box, sprinted into the penalty area but ended up shooting wide with only advancing goalie Bikesh Kuthu standing between him and the goal.
Lalitpur defender Prabesh Kunwar should have been sent off in the 35th minute when he deliberately kicked Kathmandu forward Binong. He flew into the air and threw his kick on Binong’s thigh but match referee Chhetri dismissed the offence even after consulting with assistant referee Kishan Yadav.
Cameroonian Binong got his revenge with the third goal in the 59th. He cleverly beat the off-side trap, chest-controlled a long pass from Tej Tamang and slammed past goalie Karki, leaving the Lalitpur defenders baffled.
Kathmandu coach Bal Gopal Maharjan said his side achieved the target and made it to the final. "The players performed well and executed the game plan," said Maharjan. "There are lots of injuries in the team and we have lost twice against Dhangadhi. We need to show that we are the best team by defeating Dhangadhi in the final."
Ashish Gurung of Kathmandu was declared the emerging player and his teammate Oloumou won the super player award. Gurung won Rs10,000 and Oloumou received Rs25,000.