Afeez stuns Sahara 1-0Defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) entered the Hetauda Gold Cup football tournament final with a slim 1-0 victory over Sahara Club of Pokhara here on Thursday.
Defending champions Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) entered the Hetauda Gold Cup football tournament final with a slim 1-0 victory over Sahara Club of Pokhara here on Thursday.
African recruit Olawale Oldadipo Afeez struck the decider for MMC who will now meet the winners of Friday’s second semi-final match between Vijay Youth Club of Hetauda and Tribhuvan Army Club. The final is slated for Saturday.
MMC struck early in the eighth minute when Afeez was left unmarked inside Sahara box and the striker made a perfect finish to score on a free kick from Dona Thapa. The strike made Afeez tournament leading scorer with three goals. Sahara had dominated the possession throughout the game but lacked a proper finisher who could kill the game.
Sahara created several scoring opportunities but luck kept deserting them, while few of their attacks were foiled by Sissoko and national team skipper Biraj Maharjan in MMC defence. Maharjan was later adjudged the man-of-the-match.
MMC coach Tshering Lopsang said it will take time for his team to play as a team. “We have not been able to organise our players into one single place and train them. We are left with a challenge to set our squad before we play the final,” said Gurung.
“Its only because of the experienced players we are able to win games. Sahara were quite good today but we managed to return with a victory. We still have time to improve to make sure we defend the title,” added the MMC coach. His Sahara counterpart Kiran Shrestha was left dejected.
“Its really disappointing that we kept our opponents under pressure throughout but failed to turn the result into our favour. The boys gave their 100 percent commitment but poor finishing cost us the game,” added the Sahara coach Shrestha.