Rising Club and Sports Castle off to winning starts in ‘A’ division futsal leagueRising overcame the first goal deficit to edge Machhindra Sky Goals of Kathmandu 5-4 while home team Sports Castle made a dominant start with a 7-0 thumping of the Kathmandu-based Prabhatpheri Youth Club.
The Rising Club of Dharan and the host city's Sports Castle made winning starts in the 'A' Division National Futsal League that kicked off at the Pokhara covered hall on Saturday.
Rising overcame the first goal deficit to edge Machhindra Sky Goals of Kathmandu 5-4 while home team Sports Castle made a dominant start with a 7-0 thumping of the Kathmandu-based Prabhatpheri Youth Club.
Sri Krishna Shrestha scored the opening goal for Sky Goals against Rising as the match headed into break with a 1-0 cushion. Rising came into the restart with an offensive approach and were rewarded with three goals in the first two minutes of the second half. Dorje Tamang, Milan Limbu and Sudip Gurung got on the scoresheet for Rising.
Rewos Maskey scored fourth and fifth goals for the Province 1 team. Ashis Sunam struck second for Prabhatpheri and before Shrestha scored twice to complete his hat-trick. However, they failed to hit the fifth, the equaliser before the final whistle.
The event played on a mat surface for the first time to meet the international requirement was inaugurated by Gandaki Province sports minister Rajiv Gurung.
Rising coach Yubendra Gurung expressed satisfaction with his team's performance. "We had training for only four hours on this mat after arriving in Pokhara as we don't have such a surface in Dharan. But the players came up with a spirited show," he said.
Sky Goals coach Ramesh Sinkeman said that his side lost due to a lack of understanding between the teammates. "The players failed to grasp their roles and it was the first time we were playing on the mat surface. We will come up with a better performance in the upcoming fixtures," said Sinkeman.
In another match, the home team Sports Castle gave a strong statement of their title intent as with a convincing win. Backed by roaring home supporters, Sports Castle scored three goals in the first half and four in the second half.
Sumit Shrestha scored in the third and 24th minutes while Khim Raj Gurung netted in the sixth and 21st minutes. Bijay Gurung, Dipesh Ghale and Kishor Gurung added one each.
Sports Castle deputy coach Arbin Gurung said that his players gave their cent percent. "We had the advantage of training on the mat surface and got more practice sessions at our home town's court. The players also fulfilled their duty," said Gurung.
Prabhatpheri coach Saroj Thapa said it was their first experience of playing on the mat surface. "We conceded the first three goals due to our own mistakes and we have learned a lot from this game. We will try to come out as a better side in the next game," he said.
Altogether 10 teams are vying in the tournament being played in the round robin format. The teams winning top four positions will play qualifiers and eliminators for a place in the final.
The winners of the tournament will take home Rs1 million while the runners-up will get half the amount. All matches of the event are telecast live on Kantipur Television and the digital platform ekantipur.com.